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ALTHOUGH many kinds of fruits and flowers, and 
a few other crops like Cucumbers, Seakale, Tomatoes, 
Rhubarb, Mustard and Cress, have long been grown 
in British gardens on " intensive " principles, it is 
somewhat astonishing that the early production of 
other vegetables and salads has been left almost 
entirely in the hands of the French market -gardeners 
around Paris. 

Just over forty years ago, Mr. Robinson was, I 
believe, the first to call the attention of the English- 
speaking world to the methods employed by the 
Parisian growers, who for generations past have 
practised the art of raising vegetables and salads to 
perfection during the worst months of the year. In 
the first edition of his admirable volume on The 
Parks and Gardens of Paris, he wrote : " We have 
several important things to learn from the French, 
and not the least among these is the winter and spring 
culture of salads inasmuch as enormous quantities 
of these are sent from Paris to our markets during 
the spring months. ... By the adoption of the 
French system salads may be grown to fully as great 
perfection near London and in the home counties as 
near Paris. The fact that we have to be supported 
by our neighbours with articles that could be so easily 



produced in this country is almost ridiculous. It is 
impossible to exaggerate the importance of this culture 
for a nation of gardeners like the British ; and if it 
were the only hint that we could take from the French 
cultivators with advantage, it would be well worth 

Although this gospel was preached so long ago, but 
little advance in the art of intensive gardening has 
been made in the British Islands so far as vegetables 
and salads are concerned. During the past year or 
two, however, a keener interest has been awakened 
on the subject. Not only has the horticultural press 
devoted considerable attention to it, but the daily 
papers have also discussed the matter. Among these 
one especially, with characteristic enterprise, has 
enthusiastically praised the system, and has almost 
made one believe that it is quite a simple matter to 
make a profit of 600 or 700 per annum out of an 
acre of ground cultivated on the " French " system. 

Perhaps a little too much emphasis has been laid 
upon the profits to be derived from the system, and 
there seems to be an impression amongst many who 
possess no practical experience of gardening matters 
whatever that fortunes are to be made easily by 
growing Carrots, Cauliflowers, Lettuces, Radishes, 
Turnips, etc., under lights or cloches. Many French 
gardeners have no doubt reaped golden harvests as a 
result of their industry, foresight, and skill ; but they 
have been men saturated with all the details of their 
profession gained entirely by experience. 

There is no reason, however, why the British gar- 
dener endowed with similar energy, skill, and good 
business capacity should not make the early production 


of vegetables and salads a remunerative business, pro- 
vided he is willing to do what his French neighbour does. 

Many excellent gardeners are still under the im- 
pression that, although intensive cultivation may 
be all very well round Paris, it is not likely to be 
of great use in the British Islands. Even if this 
weak argument be used against the adoption of the 
system during the winter months, it cannot possibly 
be urged against its practice during the summer 
season. French and English gardeners are then 
on a level footing. They both grow their salads in 
the open air without the aid of artificial heat. But 
what a difference is noticeable in the methods of 
cultivation, and in the amount of produce taken off 
a similar area of ground within a given period ! On 
the English side of the Channel, Nature with the 
help of an occasional hoeing, and a spasmodic or 
irregular watering does most of the work on soil 
that has been treated in the ordinary way. Around 
Paris, however, not only is the soil made up of beautiful 
spongy mould from old and well-decayed manure, 
but water is given in such abundance during growth 
that Nature is encouraged to put forth all her energies 
in the shortest time. Added to this, there is the 
ingenious system of intercropping, by means of 
which the ground is covered with plants in all stages 
of growth, and one crop succeeds another as if by 
magic. During the summer months, at least, there 
is therefore little to prevent this system being carried 
out in Britain. 

At the present time there is no book in the English 
language dealing with all the details of the French 
system of intensive cultivation as practised in the 



neighbourhood of Paris. Hence the appearance of 
this volume. The subject has been considered from a 
commercial gardener's point of view, the main object 
being to give reliable information on a subject that is 
now attracting great attention, not only throughout 
the British Isles, but in the United States and Canada. 
French gardens in England and around Paris have 
been visited, and the best French authorities on the 
subject have been consulted. Chief amongst these 
are the works of MM. Court ois-Gerard, Cure, and 
Potrat all of which deal more or less exhaustively 
with the " culture maraichere." I have also made 
frequent reference to Mr. Robinson's Parks and 
Gardens of Paris, and I am under still further ob- 
ligation to the author of that work for the use of many 
of the woodcuts in this volume which he has generously 
placed at my disposal. In addition he has honoured 
me by writing an " Introduction " bearing directly 
upon a subject in which he has been personally in- 
terested for so many years. The other illustrations, 
apart from my own diagrams, have been kindly 
supplied by MM. Vilmorin, of Paris. 

My best thanks are due to Mr. George Schneider, 
President of the French Horticultural Society in 
London ; to MM. Aquatias and Lecoq, formerly of 
May land ; and to M. Adolphe Beck, the pioneer of 
French gardeners in England, for the information 
they so readily gave me on many points. 

In regard to the names of the different varieties of 
vegetables and salads mentioned in this work, the 
French names as well as the recognised English names 
have been given in most cases, in the hope that it may 
prove a convenience. 

































CARDOONS ........ 97 


CAULIFLOWERS ....... 104 











LEEKS 139 

LETTUCES . . 142 



ONIONS . . . . . . . . 185 



SORREL ..... . . 193 



TURNIPS ........ 2OI 




INDEX 223 



1. Raised sloping bed ....... 13 

2. Cloches arranged on beds 22 

3. Frame as used in French gardens . . -33 

4. Cloche 35 

5. Cloche carrier 35 

6. Cloches stacked up ...... 36 

7. Rye-straw mat ....... 3^ 

8. Frame for making mats 39 

9. Frame tilt ........ 40 

10. Properly notched cloche tilt . . . 42 

11. Badly notched cloche tilt 42 

12. Cloche tilted over seedlings . . . 42 

13. Wicker manure basket ...... 44 

14. Manure stand, etc. ....... 44 

15. French water-pot ....... 46 

16. Forcing Asparagus in frames 71 

17. Asparagus trenches ...... 79 

1 8. Asparagus buncher . . . . . 87 

19. Cabbage, Early Ox-Heart ..... 92 

20. Express . . . . . . .92 

21. ,, Early Etampes 93 

22. Paris Market Ox-Heart . . . . * 94 

23. Flat Parisian .... .96 




24. Carrot, French Forcing 100 

25. Scarlet Horn 101 

26. Half-long Scarlet Carentan . . . 101 

27. ,, Half -long Scarlet Nantes . . . .102 

28. Cauliflower, Dwarf Early Erfurt . . . 105 

29. ,, Lenormand, short-stalked . . . 106 

30. ,, Second Early Paris .... 107 

31. Celeriac or Turnip-rooted Celery . . . .120 

32. Witloof or Brussels Chicory .... 122 

33. Corn Salad, Round-leaved . . . . .123 

34. Endive, Green Curled Paris . . . . . 135 

35. ,, Broad-leaved Batavian .... 137 

36. Cabbage Lettuce, Grosse blonde paresseuse, or White 

Stone 144 

37. Diagram showing how twenty-four seedling Lettuces 

are pricked out under cloche . . . I 47 

38. Diagram showing how thirty seedling Lettuces are 

pricked out under cloche . . . . . 147 

39. Diagram showing one Cos and four Cabbage Lettuces 

under cloche 150 

40. Cabbage Lettuce, White " Gotte ". . . .151 

41. Diagram showing Cos and Cabbage Lettuces under 

cloches intercropped with Cauliflowers . . 153 

42. Cabbage Lettuce, Palatine 154 

43. ,, ,, " All the Year Round " . . 155 

44. ,, ,, Giant Summer .... 156 

45. ,, Passion . . 157 

46. Winter Tremont . . .158 

47. Diagram showing one Cos and three Cabbage 

Lettuces under cloche 161 

48. Diagram showing first, second, and third moving of 

cloches over Lettuces , . . .162 



49. Cos Lettuce, "Paris White " . . . .164 

50. Melon, Prescott Early Frame . . . .167 

51. Melon, Cantaloup Silvery Prescott . . .168 

52. Mushroom caves, view in . . . .179 

53. Mushroom caves, view in 181 

54. Radish, Forcing Scarlet White- tipped . . .189 

55. Olive-Scarlet White-tipped . . .190 

56. Turnip, Half-long Vertu or Marteau . . . 202 

57. Half-long White Forcing . . . . 203 


THERE is no contrast in the farm or garden world more 
striking than that between the market-gardens of London 
and Paris : about London broad sweeps in the Thames 
valley, wind-swept, shelterless, well farmed ; about Paris 
close gardens, walled in, richly cultivated, and verdant 
with crops, even at the most inclement time of the year, 
and with not an inch of space wasted with paths. And 
this is not owing to the differences of climate, although 
people say, whenever one speaks of it, " It is a question 
of climate" I do not know a worse climate in winter 
than that of Paris, the season when the gardeners get 
their most profitable results. For all green things our 
climate is, if anything, a shade better than theirs. The 
very fact of the little cloche covering acres proves that 
the climate of Paris is not so good. The late M. Henri 
de Vilmorin used to tell me that his father had much 
considered the market-gardens of the two capitals, and 
estimated that the French grower of vegetables got at 
least four times the quantity obtained in the larger and 
broader cultures round London. Be it noted here that 
this book concerns the limited culture of the Paris market- 
gardens, for around Paris, as around London, there is 
the large field culture of vegetables. There is good soil 
round Paris in the Seine valley, and we cannot complain 
of the soil in the valley of the Thames it is a totally 
different system and plan we have to look to. 

xvii A 


The cloche is a great worker for the grower, and defies 
a harsh climate, as, combined with good soil and culture, 
it enables the French gardener to supply so many of the 
markets of Britain and Western Europe with salads 
and other early and welcome things. The use and work 
of the cloche well deserve study on the part of gardeners. 
The packing and moving of cloches require much care, 
if we are not to lose the half of them, and we should not 
want makers of them over here. Surely our own glass 
people should be able to supply us. It was one trouble 
of the imported cloches that if not very carefully packed 
half of them were lost on the way. Even without the 
finely prepared soil of the Paris gardens, they are most 
useful in various other ways, and I strike my Tea Roses 
under them in the autumn, and get the early tender 
green things in the spring. They are also an excellent 
aid in propagation. 

It should be borne in mind that the soil of the French 
market-garden is not really a soil as we understand it, 
but very often is almost decayed manure old hot-beds, 
in fact that, mixed with a good natural soil below, 
makes the conditions of soil about as good as they can be. 

The French cook is a great aid, because, master in 
his domain, he insists on having things of the right 
quality and right age. In the Paris market you never 
see the coarse razor-bill beans of our market, nor carrots 
scarcely fit to offer to a horse, because over all vegetables 
the cook exercises control. If our English cooks were to 
have the same power it might help to put a stop to the prac- 
tice of sending coarse vegetables to our markets. Once, 
speaking to a leading grower of peaches at Montreuil, 
I asked his opinion of certain new peaches more re- 
markable for size than for good flavour, and he said, 


" // we were to send in those peaches to our customers 
they would be promptly sent back to us" ! 

The clever way of intercropping in these gardens is 
instructive, and might be carried out almost anywhere. 
Weeks before a given crop is ready for cutting another 
crop, usually of a different nature, is planted between, 
and when the first crop is cut the new one is ready to 
spread itself out and occupy the whole of the ground. 
The partial shade of the first crop does the young plants 
no harm. This is one way of getting a good deal off 
the ground. This plan is carried out to some extent 
by cottage gardeners in England, who are often good 

This book is the work of a thoroughly trained gardener 
(a better word than horticulturist) ; it is sure to be helpful 
to all those who are interested in this question, and goes 
as far as a book can. I think in all these interesting 
cultures we ought to do a little more than book or college 
work. We should send young men abroad after due 
training, the farmer to Germany and Hungary, the 
gardener to France. There is so much more to be learnt 
by actual contact with soil, climate, surroundings every- 
thing. They speak to us in a way that no book ever 
can. And the same thing may be said in regard to 
forestry and mirsery work ; but the men who are to do this 
kind of work should be well-trained men that is, men who 
have been trained in several good gardens, so that they 
might be able to judge of the value of what they saw. 

Those who think of attempting such gardening in our 
country should remember that this very special culture 
is for the most valuable crops, and that the work is done 
in the best conditions by unremitting labour of trained 
men. In France, as in our own country, for ordinary 


things there is the open field culture. Also there are in 
France and in all countries certain things that have to 
be grown in the best natural conditions and soils if 
their finest qualities are to be secured such things as 
asparagus, for example, and even the wild-flavoured 
turnips we see in our markets in spring ; and, whether 
we deal with plants, or horses, or cattle, or sheep, no skill 
can take the place of the natural conditions that suit 
them best. 

For the special cultures round Paris a good supply 
of water is essential, and this cannot be commanded so 
well in open field culture. In the British Islands the 
supply of water is so copious that, except in the south 
and east, we seldom feel the want of it ; but in the London 
district, in hot summers, the markets sometimes suffer, 
and therefore a good water supply in all parts of the 
choice garden is a gain. I noticed in the Chinese gardens 
in California a striking resemblance to French ways 
in their thorough culture, absolute cleanliness, and 
immediate supplies of water ; and everything suggested 
some old-world connection between the two. 





THE term " intensive " cultivation is now used to 
indicate the particular methods employed by market- 
gardeners or " maraichers " in the neighbourhood 
of Paris to produce early crops of salads and vege- 
tables at a season of the year when they are most 
likely to realise high prices in the market. These 
early crops are known as " primeurs " amongst 
French gardeners ; and to secure them at just the 
right moment necessitates intimate knowledge as 
to the soil, temperature, and general treatment re- 
quired by each particular crop to bring it to perfection. 
Intensive cultivation differs from the ordinary methods 
of culture, inasmuch as it means, in addition to know- 
ledge, incessant care and attention. Comparatively 
small areas of ground are used by growers, and it 
may be said that at no time during the year is the 
land free from crops of one kind or another. Indeed, 
several crops are grown on the same patch of land 



simultaneously, as mentioned further on in the pages 
of this work. The great aim seems to be to grow 
together crops of quite different natures, so that 
the growth of one shall not interfere with the proper 
development of the other before it is gathered. 

" The culture of salads for the Paris market," said 
Mr. Robinson forty years ago in his Parks and Gardens 
of Paris, " is not merely good it is perfection." 
The same opinion holds good to-day, and there can 
be no doubt that in many parts of the British Islands, 
where the climate is kinder to the gardener than in 
the neighbourhood of Paris, it is within the region of 
possibility to grow produce that would rival if not 
surpass what is imported from abroad. 

Although much attention has been directed to 
the French methods of growing such early crops as 
Carrots, Radishes, Cauliflowers, Turnips, Lettuces, etc., 
there are at present few establishments in England 
where the system is practised on bona-fide commercial 
lines. The first garden of the kind was established 
at Evesham in the year 1905, but it soon passed 
from the hands of the original owner. What may 
be called an experimental and educational garden on 
intensive cultivation has also been established at 
Mayland, in Essex, by Mr. Joseph Fels. No expense 
has been spared in fitting up this garden with all 
modern appliances, and a capital outlay of some 
2,000 to 3,000 has been incurred. The ordinary 
market-gardener, however, no matter how intelligent 
or skilful he may be, is not likely to look upon such 
a large initial outlay with great favour, knowing 
as he does from practical experience the fluctuations 
of the markets, and the fickleness of the public taste. 


While it may not be necessary to spend anything like 
2,000 or 3,000 when starting a French garden, it 
is simply preposterous to imagine as some do that 
the intensive system of cultivation can be adopted 
on remunerative lines without incurring some expense. 
Cloches, frames, manure, and water the four great 
feet of the system must be provided before a start 
can be made, and what these are likely to cost may 
be seen from the figures given at p. 25. 

Besides the French gardens at Evesham and in 
Essex, there are others, such as the one at the Burhill 
Golf Club, Walton, and the notable one at Thatcham 
in Berkshire. This garden has been much boomed 
in the daily press, and is undoubtedly a most inter- 
esting object-lesson as to what can be done by women. 
It is managed entirely by ladies, with the help of a 
French gardener or " maraicher " ; and I should 
say that it was established on reasonable and economic 
lines. The garden occupies about 2 acres, and is 
on a fairly rich sandy loam, with a gentle slope to 
the south. The land has been fenced in all round, 
and notwithstanding the fact that most of the manure 
has to be carted from Reading, a distance of 14 miles, 
and works out at js. per ton, I was informed that 
very good results were obtained. Water is obtained 
from a well that has been sunk 40 feet deep, but it 
is to be made deeper. Last year the storage tank 
held only 500 gallons of water ; this was found to 
be much too small, and it was necessary to keep 
the oil engine pumping all day to secure a sufficient 

That profits are to be made out of French gardening 
there can be no doubt, and an attempt has been made 


at p. 26 to show what they are likely to be. The 
figures given may be considerably below the mark 
so far as profits are concerned, and if so, so much 
the better. It is always as difficult to estimate 
profits in advance as it is to count chickens before 
they are hatched. In any case, profits depend upon 
so many factors the personality of the grower, his 
skilfulness as a cultivator, his knowledge of the 
markets, his business ability, etc. any one of which 
neglected or overlooked at a critical moment may 
easily upset the best-laid schemes, and end in loss 
instead of profit. 

There is one thing about commercial gardening 
from which we cannot get away, and that is expenses 
must be incurred if any profit at all is to be made. 


Some people are inclined to think that the present 
system of intensive cultivation as practised in the 
market-gardens (or " marais," as they are called) in 
the neighbourhood of Paris is an old English system 
that was dropped years ago and is now being revived. 
I do not think it is anything of the kind. The English 
gardener has had his system all along, and the French 
gardener his each sticking more or less obstinately 
to his own. 

The system described in this work is by no means 
new, but I think it may be looked upon as being 
almost exclusively French, if not entirely Parisian. 
Claude Mollet, the first gardener to Louis XIII. of 
France (b. 1601, d. 1643), seems to have been the 


first great exponent of it, judging from his Theatre 
du Jardinage, published in 1700. Another French 
gardener, La Quintinye (b. 1626, d. 1688), whose 
Instruction pour les Jardins fruitiers et potagers was 
published in 1690, also deals with the subject and 
tells how he was able to send to the table of Louis XIV., 
surnamed " the Great " (b. 1638, d. 1715), Asparagus 
and Sorrel in December ; Radishes, Lettuces, and 
Mushrooms in January ; Cauliflowers in March ; 
Strawberries early in April ; Peas in May ; and Melons 
in June. 

From this it may be gathered that the art of inten- 
sive cultivation even in the seventeenth century was 
by no means in its infancy. Frames were already 
in use, and long before them cloches were common. 

From the time of Louis XIII. to that of Louis XVIII. 
that is, from about the year 1600 to 1800 great 
progress seems to have been made ; and garden after 
garden was established in Paris and its environs. 
The troubles of the Revolution and the wars of the 
Empire, however, interfered a good deal with the 
development of the system for the time being. But 
in 1844, according to Courtois-Gerard, about 1,500 
acres of land were devoted to intensive cultivation in 
Paris. This area was in the hands of 1,125 growers, 
so that each had an average of not much more than 
an acre. 

Since that time great alterations have taken place 
owing to the construction of railways, new boulevards, 
and other improvements, the result being that many 
of the old Parisian market-gardens have completely 
vanished. On the outskirts of Paris, however, several 
hundreds of gardens have been established, and it is 


computed that about 1,300 growers practise the 
intensive system of cultivation at the present time 
on about 3,000 acres of land. These growers have 
about 460,000 lights, and from 5,000,000 to 6,000,000 
bell-glasses or cloches among them. The largest 
number of lights used by a single individual is said 
to be 1,400, and the smallest 60 ; while the greatest 
number of cloches used by one man is said to be 
5,000, the lowest number being 100. 

The produce grown by these market-gardeners is 
considered to be worth over half a million sterling 
yearly giving an average of about 400 to each 


Those who produce early vegetables and salads 
have by no means an easy time in French gardens 
proper. Every one is awake before daylight, and 
the women play their part as well as the men. In 
summer they are often up at 2 o'clock in the morning, 
and in winter at 4 o'clock, so as to be ready to sell 
the produce at the central markets. When they re- 
turn home they attend to such work as weeding, and 
packing, or pulling the vegetables for the following 
day's market. In all their work they are assisted 
by their daughters, and although the work is not 
exactly rough, it is nevertheless very tiring, because 
they are often obliged to kneel on the ground for the 
greater part of the day regardless of the season or 
the weather. 

The men commence work after the women have 
gone to market. At 7 o'clock in the morning they 


munch a crust whilst at work, and at 9 o'clock all 
go to breakfast. In the summer time, owing to 
the heat, they rest for one or two hours at mid-day 
and all have dinner together like a family. After 
dinner, each one works on again without interruption 
until supper time, which takes place at 10 o'clock in 
summer and at 8 o'clock in winter. During the 
evening the men water the crops, make mats, carry 
leaf-soil, manure, etc. At the same time the women 
arrange the produce in baskets, crates, or hampers 
according to requirements, after which the waggon 
is loaded so that everything shall be in readiness 
for the market. Such is the picture of a French 
maraicher's or market-gardener's life as drawn by 
Court ois-Gerard in 1844, and it is apparently much 
the same now. Certainly, one has only to pay a 
visit to the Halles Centrales as the Paris markets 
are called to see at a glance what an important 
part the wives and daughters of the French market- 
gardeners play in the great industry we are con- 
sidering. Are those who wish to make fortunes 
out of the land in the British Islands willing to work 
like French men and French women ? That is the 


When choosing a site for a French garden it is 
essential to select a piece of land quite free from 
trees and shrubs, and away from high buildings that 
cast a shade. The ground should be either flat 
or with a gentle slope in any direction between the 
south-east and south-west ; and if rectangular in 


shape, so much the better. A position too close to 
the sea-coast should be avoided, especially in very 
windy localities, as the briny spray from the ocean 
will do much damage to tender vegetation. 

Protection from the cold winds from the north 
and east, and also against south-westerly gales, is 
more or less essential in the latter case chiefly on 
account of the damage that is likely to be done to 
lights and cloches. Good walls, close wooden fences, 
or thick hedges should be erected for the purpose. 
Walls and fences may be utilised for growing various 
kinds of fruit-trees, but in the French gardens I 
visited T noticed that the walls all round were quite 
bare, and were merely shelters. One grower, indeed, 
informed me that it was scarcely worth while trying 
to grow fruit-trees on the walls, as they would be 
more trouble than they were worth. 

Personally, however, I should imagine that good 
kinds of fruit-trees trained on a wooden fence or wall 
would not interfere with the culture of vegetables and 
salads, and would be a source of income in due course. 

BORDERS. In every " French " garden it is usual 
to have a border from 6 to 12 ft. wide round the 
walls or fences, such borders being often raised at 
the back and sloping towards the front, especially 
when having a south aspect. According to the 
season, various vegetables are grown on these borders. 
For example Cos Lettuces raised under lights or 
cloches may be planted out on a south border in 
January, or early in February, after a sowing of 
Radishes and Early Carrots has been previously 
made on the same soil ; and Cauliflowers raised in 
autumn and protected in frames during the winter 


may be planted between the Lettuces in March. 
These various crops will mature at different times 
the Radishes, Lettuces, and Carrots being gathered 
long before the Cauliflowers ; and when the last- 
named have matured the border may be utilised 
for Cucumbers, Endive, Lettuce, Spinach, etc., ac- 
cording to requirements. 

On the borders facing east and west similar crops 
may be sown or planted. The aspect, however, not 
being so genial as that facing south, crops mature 
somewhat later. 

The north border also has its uses. In summer 
it may be used for raising Spinach, Turnips, Lettuce, 
etc., which enjoy a little shade during the great heat 
of summer. Or such an aspect may be used for 
storing the idle frames during the summer, or for 
building a shed in which lights, mats, etc., not in use 
may be packed away. 

I have seen the frames packed up on each other 
a dozen or more high so as to be out of the way of 
crops. The cloches are also stacked up close together 
in heaps of four and five (as shown in fig. 6), and 
even during the summer months when not in use 
are covered with old mats or straw. This is to protect 
them from the hail-storms which sometimes suddenly 
come on with great violence in Paris. Indeed, in 
August 1908 I saw a Vitry garden where sad havoc 
had been made amongst the cloches during a hail- 
storm in July. 

In a " French " garden protection is of such vital 
importance that where neither walls nor hedges 
exist, it is essential to erect a fence of some sort as 
a guard against the wind. 



Although so much manure is used in the process 
of intensive cultivation, one must, nevertheless, not 
overlook the fact that a good natural soil in the garden 
is of the utmost importance. The seeds of many 
crops may be sown in the open air, from which the 
plants will later on be transferred to frames or cloches. 
And again, plants raised in frames may be transplanted 
to the open ground according to circumstances. If 
the soil, therefore, is already in good condition it will 
mean not only good growth of the crops but also a 
great saving in labour and manures. An ideal 
garden soil for ordinary purposes should consist of 
about 40 parts clay, 35 parts sand, 10 parts lime, 
and 15 parts humus, in every hundred. With proper 
digging, or occasional trenching, and a fair supply 
of manure say about 16 tons to the acre such a 
soil will yield excellent results, especially in genial 
and sheltered localities. Indeed, for vegetables and 
salads I think much more manure than this might 
be used in a well -rotted state than is at present usual 
in ordinary gardens : 20 to 30 tons to the acre would 
not be too much. 

Where wet, cold, and heavy clay exists, it will 
require modifying with the addition of sand or grit, 
and humus, in addition to deep cultivation. If, on 
the other hand, the soil is light and sandy or gravelly, 
it will be improved by the addition of heavy loam, 
chalk, or marl, as well as plenty of manure-^especially 
from the cowshed or piggery. 

Where, however, frames and cloches are used 
extensively for early crops grown on hot-beds, the 


soil beneath is not of such vital importance, as the 
roots of the plants do not touch it. I remember that 
the soil in the " French " garden at Mayland, Essex, 
was little better than harsh brick earth, and yet some 
magnificent crops were produced in the frames and 
cloches upon the beds and composts that had been 
specially prepared for them. 

Whatever the soil may be, it is essential to have it 
cleared of weeds and rubbish prior to digging and 
levelling, so that it will be a fairly easy matter to mark 
out the lines where the frames and beds are to be laid 

PLANNING OUT THE GROUND. Having decided upon 
the number of frames to be used and hot-beds to be 
made it is necessary to mark the ground out in parallelo- 
grams with a narrow pathway or alley between each. 
The frames used by the French growers are 4 ft. 
5 in. in width. Consequently, the beds will be made 
wide enough to take them. As the ground in Paris 
is exceedingly dear often 30 or 40 per acre the 
French growers cannot afford to waste any space. 
Hence the alley or pathway between one range of 
frames and another is reduced to the least possible 
width. This is generally about 12 in. but often 
only 9 in. just sufficient to allow a man to walk 
between them carefully. In places where land is not 
excessively dear, it is scarcely necessary to have such 
narrow pathways, as they are by no means easy for 
the novice to negotiate. One must, however, remember 
that the wider pathways will absorb much more 
manure for banking up or " lining " the frames in 
winter than the narrow ones ; consequently, wide 
pathways would be a source of considerable expense. 


PREPARING THE BEDS. Having marked out the 
ground, the soil in the beds is then broken up with 
the fork. The rake is afterwards passed over it to 
make level, and any clods or stones are drawn into the 
pathways. Here they are left to be trodden down, 
because it is generally an advantage to have the 
pathways somewhat higher than the surface of the 
beds. If the beds are higher than the pathways the 
water runs off the beds away from the roots of the 
plants, so that the latter are likely to suffer. 

The beds should run as near as possible east and 
west, so that the frames shall slope towards the south. 
If this position cannot be secured the next best is 
between the north-west and south-east, the object 
in both cases being to secure as much light and heat 
as possible from the sun for the plants beneath the 

SLOPING BORDERS. It often happens that borders 
cannot be made in sheltered places against walls, 
hedges, or fences, and they are then made in the open. 

A piece of ground is marked out about 6J ft. 
wide and is deeply dug all over. On the south side 
a trench about 2 ft. 3 in. is then made about 6 in. 
deep, and the soil from it is placed on the northern 
edge of the remaining piece of soil. This is about 
4 ft. 3 in. wide, so as to accommodate three rows 
of cloches when " angled " with each other. The 
back of the bed, i.e. the northern side, is made firm 
by patting with the spade, and is kept straight with 
the aid of a line tightly stretched from one end to 
another. The trench forms the pathway, and the 
soil from it serves to raise the bed so as to make the 
surface incline towards the south. The surface is 


levelled with the rake, and it will be noticed from 
the sketch (fig. i) that the cloches in the first row are 
almost on the level, while the two behind are raised 
up. If the soil at the back drops down into a slope, 


it may be chopped down straight with the spade, and 
spread over the surface ; or it may be left to buttress 
up the entire bed. 


Without a good supply of water the cultivation of 
early produce on the French system is out of the 
question. One of the most important points, therefore, 
to bear in mind when selecting a site for a French 
garden is to find out whether there is likely to be an 
abundance of water or not. In the great majority 
of cases it may be impossible or ruinously expensive 
to have water from any of the companies. It must, 
therefore, be secured either from streams, ponds, or 
wells. In any case, it will be necessary to secure it 
in such large quantities that the supply is not likely 
to fail at a critical moment. 

In a garden of any size, remote from companies' 
water mains, it will be necessary to have a large storage 


tank erected at a height of about 20 feet. To get 
the water into the tank from a stream or a well, various 
kinds of pumps are used. Windmills, gas, oil, or 
electric pumps, " rams," and pulsometers are in use, 
and are all more or less useful for throwing large 
quantities of water. Windmills are favoured by many 
growers. They have, however, the drawback so far 
as intensive cultivation is concerned of lying " be- 
calmed " on a broiling hot summer's day when there 
is not enough wind to stir a leaf, and perhaps just 
when the crops are in the greatest need of water. 
Assuming that water is available in sufficient abund- 
ance, perhaps a pump driven by a gas, oil, or electric 
engine is on the whole most reliable. I have seen 
them all at work, and consider where electric current 
can be obtained at a cheap rate from adjacent mains 
that the electric pump requires the least outlay of 
capital, and requires the minimum of attention. I 
saw such an electric pump at work in the outskirts of 
Paris, and the starting and stopping was simplicity 
itself merely pushing a small lever over a distance 
of an inch or two. 

Although windmills and gas, oil, or electric pumps 
will throw large quantities of water, they all suffer 
from one drawback in common namely, that the 
water obtained is almost, if not quite, ice-cold in 
winter. The application of ice-cold water to tender 
crops growing in a temperature of from 65 to 75 Fahr. 
would be probably fatal to the plants. If not, it would 
at least cause stagnation of growth, and induce chills 
and other troubles. For this reason one is almost 
inclined to favour the " pulsometer " as a suitable 
pumping-machine, simply because it takes the chill off 


the coldest water, and in winter-time the plants and soil 
may be moistened with water of a genial tepidity. The 
great drawback, however, to a " pulsometef " seems 
to be that it will not pump until steam has been " got 
up " in the necessary boiler attached. It also requires 
the almost constant attendance of a man to keep the 
fire well fed with coke or coal ; and this last item is 
likewise a source of considerable expense. 

With any of the other pumps mentioned, the diffi- 
culty of heating the water in the storage tank may 
be got over fairly easily. By fixing up a small, ordinary 
" saddle " boiler, and connecting it to the storage tank 
with a '" flow " and " return " pipe, sufficient heat 
will be generated with a barrow-load or two of coke 
per day ; so that the temperature of the water is easily 
raised to the region of 60 to 70 Fahr., or even more 
if the boiler is " driven." 

.As little or no water is actually applied overhead 
directly to the plants growing on the hot-beds and 
under cloches during the coldest period of the year, 
say from November or December till March or April, 
the question of heating the water in the storage tanks 
in winter is not of paramount importance perhaps, 
unless the liquid is required for use in hot-houses and 

CAPILLARY ATTRACTION. During the cold winter 
season, the early crops in the frames derive all the 
moisture they require at the roots from the rain- 
water that runs off the lights on to the rather long, 
littery manure in the narrow pathways between the 
hot-beds. By capillary attraction the water is ab- 
sorbed from the sodden pathways to the centre of 
the beds beneath the lights, and in this way the 


tender plants secure it after the chill has been taken 
off by the warm manure. The application of water 
in this indirect way also accounts for the narrowness 
of the hot-beds used, as it is obvious that in the case 
of wide beds it would be impossible for the water to 
reach the centres by means of capillary attraction 

The crops under cloches, of course, secure moisture 
in the same way, only more easily. 

DISTRIBUTION OF THE WATER. To secure a proper 
distribution of water over the garden it is advisable 
to have pipes laid on from the storage tank or a com- 
pany's main. The pipes should be 3 or 4 in. in 
diameter to secure a good and easy flow of water in 
all directions. If the tank is also placed sufficiently 
high say, 20 to 25 feet there will be good pressure 
of water, so that when a hose-pipe is attached to any 
of the stand pipes placed at regular and convenient 
intervals it will be possible to water the contents of 
several frames without inconvenience. 

In addition to the hose-pipes, it is also advisable 
during the summer months to have several galvanised 
tanks, or even barrels, placed where they are most 
likely to be useful when Melons are being watered by 
waterpots. Indeed, the more conveniently a garden 
and its appliances are arranged the better, more 
comfortable, and the more economic will the working 
be on the whole. A slip-shod or ill-digested scheme 
of arrangement is likely to lead to endless troubles 
afterwards, when it may be difficult to rectify defects 
without considerable expense. 



In addition to a plentiful supply of water there must 
also be a bounteous, almost a prodigious, quantity of 
manure available and the best stable manure into 
the bargain ; otherwise intensive cultivation is quite 
out of the question. Good stable manure costs any- 
thing from 45. to 75. per ton ; and 1,000 tons 
annually may be required for a garden of two acres. 
The first year, naturally, is more expensive in every 
way than succeeding years, and with the progress 
of time somewhat smaller quantities of manure may 

When the manure becomes old or spent it is not 
useless. It gradually becomes trodden down into fine 
black particles, and in this condition of vegetable 
mould is a most important ingredient in the soil of 
every French garden. In some old Parisian gardens 
I visited, the manure of former years covered the 
original soil to a depth of two or three feet, and it 
almost felt as if one was walking on a velvet pile 
carpet. This old manure, decayed into fine particles, 
assumes a deeper and deeper tint with age, and yields 
up its fertilising foods under the influence of air, water, 
and heat for the benefit of the crops grown upon it. 
It is used over and over again for spreading over the 
open borders, over the hot manure in the frames, and 
over the cloche beds, in layers of varying thickness, 
and the tender rootlets have no trouble whatever in 
penetrating its moist, warm, and spongy tissues. 

Besides good stable manure, other manures such 
as that from cows, pigs, sheep, etc. are also freely 
used by some growers, as well as night soil when ob- 



tamable, and when no strong objections are raised on 
the question of odour. Many French housewives, with 
characteristic thrift, never waste any refuse from the 
house, the poultry run, or the kitchen garden, if it is 
likely to be at all useful in the culture of vegetables or 
salads. In fact, anything in the shape of animal or 
vegetable refuse is carefully preserved, and made into 
a compost heap mixed with leaves, weeds, and soil. 
It is then freely and frequently drenched with soapy 
water on washing days as well as with any other 
household liquids available. In due course this 
organic refuse (which is taken away by the dustman 
in England) becomes converted into a beautiful rich 
and friable mould. 

Chemical or artificial manures, although now so 
extensively employed in ordinary gardening practice, 
are not popular with intensive cultivators. And it is 
questionable, even in the event of stable manure 
becoming scarcer owing to the more general adoption 
of motor-cars, if chemical manures would ever 
produce the same excellent results that are now 
secured from hot-beds with their equable and genial 

The use of hot-water pipes scarcely requires con- 
sideration for somewhat similar reasons. They dry 
and bake and parch the soil so regularly, that the 
tender roots of crops would soon be shrivelled up 
unless the lights were frequently taken oif to drench 
the beds with water : and this is a dangerous pro- 
ceeding during the winter months, and likely to result 
in total loss of the crops. 

waste and secure the best results, it is necessary to 


manage a manure heap with a certain amount of care 
and intelligence. During the summer months hot 
manure is not required, but large quantities are secured 
and are kept in reserve until autumn, when the beds 
are made. On the outskirts of Paris enormous heaps 
of manure may be seen during the summer months, 
and in August men may be seen with bare legs and 
trousers turned up to the knees, turning over the 
heaps and watering them copiously. The straw or 
litter is forked out and kept in conical heaps by itself. 
The short and more or less well-rotted portion which 
is left should also be made into similar conical heaps, 
so that the rain may run off more easily without 
making the heap sodden. The liquid from a manure 
heap, however, should not be allowed to run waste, 
as it contains valuable plant foods. If allowed to run 
into a hollow place at the foot of the heap, the liquid 
can then be thrown over the manure from time to 
time, thus preventing it from getting too hot and 

It sometimes happens, when manure is improperly 
managed by leaving the rotted and unrotted portions 
mixed up together without being turned and watered, 
that a heap catches fire much in the same way that 
haystacks do in summer and autumn, owing to the 
enormous heat generated by decomposition in the 
interior. Accidents of this kind are very costly, and 
the only way to prevent a manure heap being totally 
consumed is to give it a thorough drenching with 



From October till the end of March hot-beds are in 
constant use for the production of early crops. As 
some of these require more heat than others it is 
necessary to regulate the thickness and heat of the 
beds according to the season and the crop grown. If 
the temperature is too high there is great danger of 
the plants becoming too tender and " sappy " in 
growth ; they are, therefore, likely to suffer consider- 
ably when exposed during the cold winter months. 
On the other hand, just the right temperature must be 
maintained to secure the maximum amount of growth 
in the shortest time, coupled with careful ventilation 
on all favourable occasions. 

French growers usually make three different kinds 
of beds according to season and crop namely, (i) 
raised hot-beds ; (2) sunken beds in trenches for 
melons ; and (3) in April beds made from spent 
manure or the dark mould that has already played its 
part in the production of previous crops. 

Having marked out by means of pegs and lines 
where the beds and frames and cloches are to be 
placed bearing in mind that they are to be inclined 
towards the south, south-east, or south-west the 
manure is wheeled on to the ground or carried on the 
back in the peculiar wicker baskets called " hottes " 
(see figs. 13, 14, p. 44). 

It is the custom to make the beds deeper on a wet, 
heavy soil than on a warm, light, sandy one, and also 
to make narrow beds deeper than wide ones. Beds 
made during the winter months are also thicker in 
proportion than those made in autumn or spring, as 


greater heat is required to resist the atmospheric 

The most reliable manure for maintaining a good 
and steady heat is undoubtedly stable manure well 
moistened with urine. In a fresh state it is rarely 
used, as the heat generated is much too great, being 
often as much as 140 to 160 Fahr. Fresh manure is 
brought into proper condition by turning it over two 
or three times with a fork. It is then ready for use 
either by itself when great heat is needed, or mixed 
with older and less active manure when a lower 
temperature is required. 

French gardeners make their hot-beds about 5 ft. 
5 in. in width. This allows 4 ft. 5 in. for the 
frames, or three rows of cloches on top when arranged 
as shown in fig. 2. A pathway about i ft. wide is 
thus left between each bed, but it is really only about 
9 or 10 in., as the manure must project a little beyond 
the frames. The length of the beds is regulated by 
the number of frames used ; but five frames (carrying 
fifteen lights) are generally placed one after the other 
before an intersecting pathway is made. 

When actually making up the hot-beds the well- 
mixed manure should be placed in layers over the 
required space, taking care to keep the edges vertical. 
When sufficient manure has been placed in position, 
it should be trodden down well with the feet, and 
beaten with the fork to secure a level surface and equal 
density throughout. Any hollow places must be filled 
up with more manure, until the proper level has been 
reached. When complete, the whole bed should be 
watered all over if inclined to be dry, so that it is 
made moist enough to generate a steady heat. 


When making beds in October for the cultivation 
of Lettuces, they need not be more than 8 in. 
in depth. A fair quantity of short litter should be 
mixed with the hot and fresh manure, because at this 
period the plants do not require heat so much as being 
kept rather dry and sufficiently warm. Beds made 
in November should be somewhat deeper, and made 
with equal parts of old and fresh manure. From the 
commencement of December the beds should be 
from 12 to 14 in. thick, and made of fresher manure. 


This is necessary, as a greater and more steady heat 
is then required for such crops as Lettuces, early 
Carrots, and Turnips. 

If the beds are to be covered with cloches, the surface 
should have a layer of old mould spread over it evenly. 
After this three rows of cloches are placed upon each 
bed, alternating as shown in fig. 2. 

When the beds are intended to carry frames, these 
may be placed upon them as soon as made, and when 
properly arranged in straight rows, the surface of the 
beds may be covered with mould, or even with finely 
sifted gritty soil in the springtime. When the frames 
are in position, the "lights" are placed upon them, 
and these are covered with mats for a few days to 


hasten the more rapid heating of the manure in the 

In preparing the ground to be occupied by a rang* 
of beds the work is carried out as follows : The soil is 
taken out about 3 ft. 3 in. wide at the base and thrown 
into a raised heap or ridge the length of the range, 
so as not to hold the water, or to drain itself if already 
too wet. When the ground for the first row of frames 
has been treated in this way, the soil from the second 
row is used for placing on the hot-bed in the first row, 
the soil from the third is placed in the second, and so 
on to the last row. 

The narrow pathway which has been left between 
each row of frames at first remains empty if the weather 
is not too severe. According, however, as the hot-beds 
begin to lose some of their heat, the pathways between 
the frames are filled up, or " lined," with short or 
strawy litter, not short, hot manure. This is moistened 
by the dripping rain from the lights, and with the heat 
from the beds, the manure in the pathways gradually 
generates heat and serves to rekindle or conserve the 
heat in the beds themselves for a longer period. The 
ends of the frames are banked up with manure about 
a foot deep, as are also the sides of the first and last 
row of the entire range, so that eventually all the 
frames look as if they were embedded up to the lights 
in a sea of manure. In this way the frames at the 
ends of the rows are kept as warm as those in the 
centre. This is an important consideration, especially 
for growers who wish to gather an entire crop at once. 
It is from the wet manure in these narrow pathways 
that the beds in the frames obtain the necessary moisture 
during the winter months, by capillary attraction. 


When these hot-beds are freshly made and very 
warm, care should be taken not to sow or plant until 
the first fierce heat from the manure has somewhat 
abated. If this precaution is neglected and a very 
high temperature develops, it may be necessary to 
take away the outside banks of manure from the 
frames so as to cool the beds. If this does not suffice, 
plenty of water must be thrown round the beds and 
in the pathways until the temperature sinks to the 
required degree. 


As much has recently been heard as to the great 
profits obtainable from an acre or two of ground 
cultivated on the French system, it may be of interest 
to consider the approximate cost of establishing a 
garden, the annual expenditure on the same, and the 
returns that are likely to be secured from markets in 
a fairly normal state of trade. 

Taking an ordinary French garden devoted mainly 
to producing early crops, one rarely finds more than 
300 frames, or 900 lights, or more than 3,000 cloches. 
As the frames and lights are moved off one crop on 
to another, it is advisable to have extra land avail- 
able so that the changes and rotations necessary may 
be carried out without difficulty. 

Generally speaking, it is more economical in pro- 
portion to cultivate two acres than one, as the 
initial outlay is almost the same in both cases for 


Taking the various items separately for establishment 
we arrive at the following figures : 



s. d. 

Water-tank, tower, pumping-engine, stand- 
pipes, fences, etc., say. . . . . . *2OO o o 

3,000 Cloches @ 5 per 100 . . . . 150 o o 

900 Lights, painted and glazed, @ 6/6 each 292 10 o 

300 Frames for same @ 8/- each . . . . 120 o o 

700 Rye-straw mats @ 5 per 100 . . 35 o o 

Horse, Cart and Harness, say . . . . ^60 o o 

6 zinc French waterpots @ I5/- each . . 4 10 o 

3 Spades @ 4/6 . . o 13 6 

2 Forks @ 3/6 070 

2 American Rakes, 14 teeth, @ 3/- each . . 060 
i Manure Basket with straps . . . . o 17 6 

i Manure Stand, iron i o o 

i Wheelbarrow . . . . . . . . i o o 

3 Hose pipes, say . . . . . . . . 600 

Dibbers, lines, tilts, handbarrow, etc., say i 16 o 

Packing Shed, say . . . . . . . . 20 o o 

Miscellaneous, say 30 o o 

Total .. .. 924 o o 

* If water can be obtained easily and at a specially cheap 
rate from a water company, there would be no need to go to 
the expense of sinking a well, erecting a water-tower and 
tank, or for having a pumping-engine. This sum might, 
therefore, be reduced by say ^150, making the total outlay 
774 instead of ^924. 

f This expense need not be incurred the first year, perhaps, 
unless it can be well afforded. 




s. d. 

Manure, 1,000 tons @ 5/- per ton . . 250 o o 

Labour . . . . . . . . . . 260 o o 

Maintenance of Horse (see note, p. 25) .. 30 o o 

Rent, Rates, Taxes, Insurance . . . . 50 o o 

Miscellaneous Expenses, including cost of 

Seeds, say . . . . . . . . 40 o o 

Total .. .. 630 o o 



s. d. 

Lettuces, say 250 o o 

Cauliflowers, say . . . . . . . . 80 o o 

Melons, say . . . . . . . . . . 150 o o 

Carrots, say . . . . . . . . . . 125 o o 

Radishes, say . . . . . . . . 125 o o 

Endives, say . . . . . . . . 25 o o 

Corn Salad, say . . . . . . . . 10 o o 

Spinach, say .. .. .. .. ., 10 o o 

Cabbages, say . . . . . . . . 10 o o 

Celery, say . . . . . . . . . . 10 o o 

Turnips, say . . . . . . . . 15 o o 

Asparagus, Dwarf Beans, Cucumbers, 

Strawberries, Tomatoes, etc., say . . 50 o o 

Total . . . . 860 o o 




5. d. 

As per Table III. 860 o o 


s. d. 

As per Table II. 630 o o 

Profit . . . . 230 o o 


From the figures given above it will be seen that the 
expenditure of a French garden is very great for the 
first year 924 sunk in capital, and 630 in expenses, 
making 1,554 altogether. Out of this sum, however, 
under proper management and with normal markets, it 
is estimated that 860 of the outlay would be returned. 
This represents a profit for the year of 230, or nearly 
25 per cent, on the capital. It may therefore be 
assumed that at the end of four years not only would 
the capital be paid back, but all expenses would be 
paid into the bargain. Under exceptionally favourable 
circumstances, this desirable result may possibly be 
attained at the end of three years ; but it is difficult 
to see how it could be accomplished much sooner. 
On the other hand, if the freehold of the garden is 
purchased, and a good house be erected on the land, 
it may possibly take six or eight years to wipe out 
the capital and expenses, before one can really look 
upon the results of his work as being pure profit. 

It will be understood, of course, that the figures 
given are only approximate, although the prices of 
cloches, frames, mats, and tools may be regarded as 
fairly accurate. Much more money may be spent on 
these articles, but an ingenious man will find he can 
economise in many ways. For example, it is possible 


to make his own frames, to paint and glaze his own 
lights, to make his own tilts, manure stands, etc. 
He may also be able to dispense with a horse and cart, 
although he would probably find this difficult in an 
out-of-the-way place. 

So far as the figures for the produce are concerned, 
the estimates have been based on rather low average 
prices in the markets. It has been computed that 
the produce from each light realises 205., and from 
each cloche 2s. On this basis the nine hundred lights 
given above would yield 900, and the three thousand 
cloches 300 making 1,200 per annum from these 
two sources alone. I am inclined to think these 
figures, however, are too high. 

Besides the crops mentioned, there are others 
that might be looked upon as a source of revenue 
even in a garden of two acres, such for instance as 
Strawberries, Tomatoes, Early Potatoes, and some 
others referred to at pp. 62, 63. It would be safer, how- 
ever, for the beginner to confine his attention strictly 
to those crops that can be grown economically in 
bulk and fetch the best prices. Afterwards, when 
he feels more sure of his ground, other crops might 
be grown if considered desirable and sufficiently 


Perhaps one of the most difficult problems con- 
nected with commercial gardening is the disposal 
of the produce at such a price as to yield reasonable 
profits. In this connection much depends not only 
upon the way the " stuff " is grown, but also upon 


the way it is prepared for sale. It is well known 
that the very finest produce in the world stands a very 
poor chance of selling at all, unless it is packed in a 
neat, cleanly, and attractive way. The almighty 
greengrocer is often the most important factor to 
be considered, and his judgment is generally final. 
Caterers for large establishments also have keen eyes 
for the way produce is exposed for sale ; and the 
grower or his agent must not be surprised at any 
uncomplimentary references to his vegetables and 
salads if they are not packed in such a way as to 
command approval or to attract ready and favourable 
attention. It is therefore of the utmost importance 
that Lettuces, Carrots, Radishes, Cauliflowers, Turnips, 
etc., should be prepared for sale and as carefully 
packed as possible. There are now many kinds of 
crates, boxes, and baskets in use some made of 
willow, others of thin strips of wood, all combining 
lightness with cheapness and neatness. All root crops 
like Turnips, Radishes, and Carrots are of course 
nicely washed and cleaned before or after bunching ; 
while crops like Cauliflowers, Cabbages, Lettuces, 
etc., have the roots, stems, and all unnecessary or 
useless leaves taken away. Each crop indeed is 
prepared and packed in accordance with what practice 
has found out to be the best ; but that does not 
preclude any one from improving upon the present 
methods, if he sees a reasonable chance of doing so. 
Originality, combined with neatness and good pro- 
duce, very often means remarkably quick sales. 

If a grower does not go to market himself, or sell 
direct to his own customers, he must of necessity 
send his produce to a commission salesman in one 


or other of the great markets : and herein lies one 
of the great dangers of the business. There are 
undoubtedly salesmen of repute in all the best markets 
who do their best for their clients in selling at the 
highest prices ; and they return these prices to the 
grower, less the legitimate commission to which 
they are entitled. Notwithstanding this fact, how- 
ever, it is unfortunately too true that letters appear 
frequently in the trade papers from growers who 
relate that not only do they receive but little, or 
even nothing, for the goods sent to the salesman, 
but in some cases the latter individual actually sends 
in a charge for expenses incurred in disposing of the 
produce ! This, coupled with the high railway rates 
which are in themselves equivalent to a protective 
tariff often drives the grower of good produce to 
despair. It is rare, however, that one hears of a 
commission agent entering the bankruptcy court. 


The figures given in the preceding pages refer to 
the establishment and maintenance of a " French 
Garden " on strictly commercial and professional 
lines, and they may well cause the amateur to pause 
before embarking on such a system of cultivation. 
Where, however, one has a small piece of ground at 
his disposal say only 10 or 20 poles there is no 
reason why he should not practise the art on a small 
scale, and at comparatively little expense. It must 
be borne in mind, however, that as the cloches and 
lights frequently require attention in regard to closing 
and opening (i.e. putting on air and taking it off), as 
well as shading, the amateur must either be at hand 


to attend to these operations himself, or must delegate 
the duties to some intelligent member of his house- 
hold. Otherwise his crops are sure to suffer. 

In large private establishments (as distinguished 
from purely commercial ones) the proprietors fre- 
quently employ gardeners skilled in the production 
of fruits, flowers, and vegetables. Where these are 
grown early in hothouses perhaps the system of 
cloches, hot-beds, and lights will not appeal very 
strongly. In cases, however, where there is but 
little or no glass, one might do worse than invest 
in two or three hundred cloches and a few frames 
and lights bearing in mind that there ought to be 
a good supply of water always available. 

It is impossible to estimate exactly the probable 
outlay and annual expenses that would be incurred 
by any particular amateur, but as may be seen from 
the figures below, a good deal could be done by the 
outlay of 20, and more of course in proportion to 
what is spent. For a small garden the following 
estimate may serve as an example : 

*. d. 
ioo Cloches .. .. .. .. .. 600 

6 Frames @ io/- each . . . . . . 300 

18 Lights @ 7/6 each . . . . . . 6 15 o 

18 Mats @ 1/6 each 170 

Tools and Sundry Expenses, say . . 300 

Total Cost of Establishment . . 20 2 o 

The prices quoted are higher than those given on 
p. 25, as small purchasers usually have to pay more 
for material than large ones. 


The annual expenses incurred in such a garden 
might be given thus : 

i 5. d. 

Manure, 10 tons @ 6/- per ton . . . . 300 

Labour .. .. .. .. .. 500 

Sundries 200 

10 o o 

These figures are given on the assumption that the 
amateur attends to the business himself, and employs 
only occasional labour to help with making the beds, 

The produce from the lights and cloches ought to 
be worth the same price at least to the amateur as 
it fetches in market. The annual value therefore 
would be as follows : 

s. d. 

Produce of 18 Lights @ i5/- each . . 13 10 o 
,, ,, 100 Cloches @ 1/6 each . . 7 10 o 

Total . . . . 21 o o 

So that at the end of the first year, having spent 30 
altogether, the return would be only fy short of the 
total expense. On the same basis, there should be 
a clear profit of 11 the second and succeeding years, 
equivalent to 55 per cent, on the capital outlay. 


For intensive cultivation special appliances are 
necessary to enable the gardener to secure the best 
results. The most important will now be considered. 


FRAMES. These are made of deal planks about 
an inch or more in thickness. Those used at the 
back are generally 9 in. wide, those in front being 
an inch or two narrower. Each frame is 13 ft. long 
and 4 ft. 5 in. wide and is built to take three lights ; 
so that two men can easily move a frame from one 
place to another. The ends of the frames are often 
made of oak, and the four planks are nailed together, 
having a stout oak post at each corner. The back 
posts are 13 or 14 in. long, those in front being 


10 or ii in., the tops in both cases being flush with 
the upper edge of the boards. This gives a slope 
to the frames and not only throws off the rain into 
the pathways, but also catches the rays of the sun 
better. Movable bars connect back and front planks 
for supporting the lights in the usual way. With fair 
wear and tear the frames last about fifteen years. 
Fig. 3 shows a frame for three lights, the " rests " on 
the front plank being to prevent the lights slipping 
off when lifted up for watering. 

LIGHTS. The size favoured by French growers is 
4 ft. 5 in. by 4 ft. 3 in. Where durability and economy 
are taken into account the frames of the lights are 
generally made of oak. The bottom rail, however, 



is often made of iron, as it is more liable to rot from 
the water. In the latest make the sash bars of which 
there are three are also made of iron, and are as 
narrow as possible, consistent with firmness, so that 
the maximum amount of light is given to the plants 
when necessary. 

The lights are painted and glazed in the usual 
way, except that top-putty is used on iron sash bars ; 
and the smallest pane of glass is kept at the bottom, 
because it runs greater risk of being broken than the 
others ; consequently it is not so difficult or costly to 

It may be mentioned that the frames and lights 
in French gardens are narrow for scientific as well 
as useful reasons. In winter, when it would be danger- 
ous to water the early crops with cold water, the 
necessary moisture is obtained from the wet manure 
in the narrow pathways by capillarity. If the frames 
were too wide, water would not be attracted so far 
as the centre of the bed, hence the plants there would 
suffer from drought. 

CLOCHES. This name for " bell glasses " has be- 
come almost an English word now, so it may be 
retained without inconvenience in this work. Cloches 
have been in constant use in French gardens since 
about the year 1623 nearly three hundred years 
although originally they are said to have come from 
Italy. They have naturally undergone considerable 
modification in that time. The best cloches are made 
in Lorraine, and measure about 17 in. in diameter 
across the mouth, and about 15 in. in height 
(see fig. 4). Each one weighs about 5^- lb., and 
will hold about 6 gallons of water. The cloches are 


made of clear glass with a slightly bluish tint as a 
protection against strong sunshine. Formerly cloches 
had a knob on top, but as this acted like a lens and 
burned the plants beneath, those without knobs are 
now preferred, and generally 
used. It has been computed 
that something like five or 
six millions are in use in 
French gardens. It is con- 
sidered more economical to 
order 200 or 300 at one 
time, as small packages are FlG - 4 CLOCHE COVERING 

.. , . , , .. CABBAGE LETTUCES. 

more liable to be broken in 

passing from hand to hand. English glass makers, I 

believe, are waking up to the fact that there is likely 

to be a trade in bell-glasses for intensive gardening 

purposes, so that growers will have an opportunity 

of encouraging home industries, if the prices are 


Cloches, being obviously fragile, a good deal of 
care is necessary in handling them. They are generally 
placed in stacks of three, and by means of a specially 


constructed frame one man can carry as many as 
twelve weighing about 66 Ib. at one time. He carries 
two stacks of three, back to back, in front of him, 
and two similar stacks behind him on the frame. 
So that the cloches shall not roll off, the cross-pieces 


next the man are slightly lower than those at the 

ends (see fig. 5). 

The cloche carrier is only used for long distances. 

For a short distance a man can easily carry three 

cloches in each hand by inserting a finger between 


When the cloches are not in use they are stacked 

away carefully in piles of any number up to ten. 

Five, however, is a safer number, as shown in fig. 6. 

Formerly wisps of straw, hay, or litter were placed 
between them to prevent breakages. 
It was found, however, that if the 
straw became wet the cloches were 
liable to crack. Now they are placed 
on firm ground on which some straw 
or litter has been spread. A small 
square piece of wood or block, as 

FIG. 6-CLocHEs shown in the fi ure > is P ut on the 

STACKED UP top of the first cloche before the 

WHEN NOT IN second is placed on it. This prevents 

one cloche touching the other, and if 

the work is done properly the upper cloche will turn 

round easily on the lower. It is hardly necessary to 

say that the cloches are placed in positions sheltered 

from strong winds, otherwise an unexpected hurricane 

might do considerable damage. The stacks of cloches 

are placed in rows alternating with each other, and 

as a protection against sudden hailstorms in summer 

they are covered with straw or old mats. During the 

winter months it is never wise to place the cloches on 

their side when not in use, as the side touching the 

ground is likely to drop out if surprised by a hard 

frost, and especially if there is any water inside. 


The interior of the cloches is kept clean by washing 
every year about November, when there is little 
danger of the sun causing the young plants beneath 
to flag or " wilt." A wisp of hay, or old rye mat 
tied in the middle, makes a rough brush for the purpose. 
The cloche is plunged into a tub of water, and as it is 
twirled round with one hand the interior is brushed 
with the other. The glass is then well rinsed and 
comes out perfectly clean and as good as new. There 
is no need to wash the outer surface, as this is kept 
sufficiently clean by the rain. During the summer 
months, however, some of the cloches are covered 
with whiting for shading purposes, but this is easily 
removed by the hand when washing the glasses. 

Occasionally a cloche gets broken, and old French 
gardeners became experts at putting the pieces to- 
gether when prices ruled high. Those I have seen 
in gardens near Paris were mended with strips of 
linen or pieces of glass and white lead placed over the 
cracks. Curiously enough a once-broken glass gener- 
ally has a long life after being mended, as it is handled 
with more than usual care. Now, however, it is 
scarcely worth while mending- badly broken cloches, 
as they are so moderate in price about 5 to 6 per 
100. Some of the special sticking glues like Seccotine 
would probably be a great improvement on the white 
lead and linen method. 

By the use of cloches the gardener is enabled not 
only to protect tender plants from the cold and wet 
during the worst period of the year, but owing to the 
genial temperature beneath them, he can also raise 
his plants more quickly than in the open air in the 
ordinary way. By constant use over the plants, 



having due regard to ventilation and shading, each 
cloche serves all the purposes of a miniature forcing 

MATS. As one might expect, coverings of mats 
or sacks were in use to protect plants long before even 
cloches or frames were thought of. In these days 
the mats mostly in use are made of rye straw. Each 
mat is about 5 ft. to 6 ft. 
6 in. long, and 4 ft. 6 in. wide, 
weighs about n or 12 lb., 
and is kept together by means 
of five strings running across 
the straw stems (see fig. 7). 
Before use the mats are steeped 
in a solution of copper sul- 
phate not only to preserve 
them, but also to prevent rats 
and mice from gnawing them, 
and to keep off fungoid diseases. 


Each mat costs about is. 2d. 

to is. 6d., and with fair wear and tear ought to last 
three or four seasons. 

The mats are useful not only for protecting the 
plants in the frames or under the cloches from severe 
frosts in winter, but in summer time they are almost 
as much in evidence for shading the lights and cloches 
from the scorching rays of the sun. Old mats are 
useful for covering the cloches that are stacked up in 
summer, to protect them against the sudden hail- 
storms that often do much damage. Although the 
rye-straw mats are reasonably cheap, it may be 
worth while to make them in gardens when bad 
weather prevents the employees from doing other work. 



Boys, girls, or women would probably become more 
expert at mat-making in a much shorter time than 
men. A smart willing lad should earn from 30 to 
50 per cent, more per day than a man at making mats. 
A special frame is used for the purpose, but I have 
seen mats made on the wooden floor of a barn equally 
well. The frame consists 
of two pieces of wooden 
batten 3 or 4 in. wide, and 
6 ft. or more in length, 
as desired. These battens 
form the side pieces, and 
are kept the required dis- 
tance apart by the inser- 
tion of two cross battens 
about 5 ft. long one at 
the end, and the other at 
any desired distance from 
it, according to the length 



(i) Side boards ; (A) Cross-bar 
to keep sides equidistant. (5) 
Strings strained tightly from nails 
at each end. (E) Reel or bobbin 
for twine. (F) showing loop made 
when sewing. 

of the mat. Four or five 

nails or pegs are stuck into 

the cross pieces, at equal 

distances apart, cord or 

tarred twine is then tightly 

stretched from one nail to 

another. The straw is now taken in handfuls and 

spread evenly across the strings on the frame the cut 

ends being pushed against the side battens. Sewing 

now takes place. A quantity of string or twine is 

wound on a bobbin or reel about 6 in. long. The 

string is passed over the straw, under the bottom 

string, made into a loop knot, and pulled tight, so 

that each layer of straw is pressed close up and does 


not exceed three-quarters of an inch in thickness. A 
similar tie is made at each string, passing always from 
the centre to one side or the other. Handful after 
handful of straw is added and sewn in the way 
described, until a mat of the required length has been 
made. The mat is then detached, and the strings at 
each end are knotted up tightly to prevent un- 
ravelling. Any ragged edges may be cut with shears 
or scissors. 

Where an abundance of straw from rye or wheat 
is obtainable cheaply, it might well be utilised for 
making mats. The chief points to bear in mind are 
to add the same quantity of straw each time and 
keep it even and regular. 

To preserve the mats, they are immersed in a large 
wooden bath or cement tank, in which a copper 
sulphate solution has been prepared. This solution 
is made by dissolving from 6 to 8 Ib. of sulphate of 
copper in 22 gallons of water. When well saturated 
with the solution, the mats may be taken out and 
hung up to dry. 

FRAME " TILTS." This is the technical name given 
to small blocks of wood, or sometimes brickbats or 
flower-pots, used for propping up the 
lights of the frames either at the top or 
bottom, or on one side or the other. As 
more air is given at one time than another 
according to the season, the temperature, 
FIG. 9. an( j the force of the wind, the tilts, as 
used in frames, are usually made with 
two or three notches so that much or little air can 
be given at will as shown in fig. 9. The tilt may be 
used in four different ways : (i) flat on the side, 


(2) on the first notch, (3) on the second notch, and 
(4) on the top notch. When the plants are young 
and tender the tilt is usually placed on its side. As 
the plants increase in size and sturdiness, however, a 
little more air may be given, and notches i, 2, and 3 
are utilised in turn. 

To avoid straining the framework of the lights 
when giving air, the tilt should be placed near the 
middle of the rail at the side, or at the top or bottom, 
instead of being nearer to one end or to one side 
than to the other. 

Another important point to remember is, not to 
tilt the lights on the side facing towards the wind, 
but on the side away from it. The wind thus passes 
over the frames without causing a cold draught. 
Should the lights be raised on the wrong side, the 
wind enters freely and causes the leaves to " flag " 
or wilt, and they may perhaps receive a check from 
which they never recover. Besides, there is another 
danger from raising the lights on the wrong side, viz. 
that a strong breeze may easily lift the lights from their 
position, and break a considerable amount of glass. 

It may be as well to mention although it is well 
known to practical men that when plants have been 
exposed for a week or ten days to the greatest possible 
amount of air that can be given by the tilt standing 
upright, they will have become so hardened off 
that the lights themselves may be taken off altogether 
on bright genial days. In addition to experience, 
the state of the weather and the season will, however, 
guide one as to whether it is safe to leave the lights 
off during the night time or not. 

CLOCHE TILTS. It is quite as necessary at times 



FIG. 11. TILT 

to give air to the plants beneath cloches as it is to 
those in frames or greenhouses. Special tilts (called 
" fourchettes " by the French gardeners) are made 
for this. They consist of 
a narrow, triangular piece of 
wood, about 10 or 12 in. 
long, made out of slating 
battens or staves, and with a 
couple of notches taken out 
at right angles on the longer 

FIG. 10. TILT 

SHOWING side, or hypoteneuse, some- 
what as shown in fig. 10. 
The pointed end is stuck 
into the ground and the cloche is lifted so 
that the rim may rest on either the first or second 
notch, as shown in fig. 12. 

Very often before the cloche is lifted on to the 
first notch, when the plants are still very young and 

tender, a depression is made 
close to the rim, by pressing 
the closed fist into the spongy 
surface of the bed. 

When " air is taken off," 
that is, when the cloches are 
let down flat on the bed again, 
it is done by placing the index 
finger on top of the tilt and 
pressing it backwards. The 
cloche then drops to the sur- 
face by its own weight. In 

this way it does not occupy much time to " take 
the air off " a few hundred cloches. 

If, however, the cloche tilt is badly made, and has 



the notches at any angle less than a right angle, it 
will be impossible to take off the air with the finger 
only, in the way described. Both hands will have 
to be used, and this means considerable waste of time. 
A badly-made cloche tilt is shown at fig. n. 

The cloches are, naturally, tilted up on the side 
away from the wind, and if the tilt is firmly fixed in 
the soil, there is little danger of the glasses being 
blown about by ordinary breezes. Sometimes, how- 
ever, a storm springs up suddenly, and then the 
damage to the cloches is likely to be great. 

HAND-BARROWS. These are similar to those in 
use in English nurseries, but have no legs. They are 
useful for carrying lights, etc., in the narrow alleys 
between the frames. 

MANURE BASKET. Owing to the fact that the 
ranges of frames have pathways of a foot or less 
between them, it is obvious that a man could not 
use an ordinary wheelbarrow between them for 
carrying manure or soil. The pathways are narrow 
chiefly to economise space (owing to the high rents 
in Paris arid the cost of manure), and even the 
handles of the lights are on top of the rails in- 
stead of the ends, so that another inch or two 
of valuable space may be secured. To enable the 
gardeners, therefore, to get between the beds and 
frames, a peculiar shaped wicker basket called a 
" hotte " is used for carrying manure, etc. This 
" hotte " (see fig. 13) has almost a straight back, 
in front of which are two straps which fit over a 
man's shoulders, so that it is carried much in the 
same way as a glazier carries his frame and glass, 
as shown in fig. 14, These baskets hold quite a 


large quantity of manure more than a wheelbarrow. 
While it is being filled, it is placed on a stand called 
a "chargeoir" (see fig. 14). This is a tripod, made 
of wood or iron, having two upright posts or horns, 
one at each end of the platform. This is at a con- 
venient height from the ground, so that there is no 




necessity for a man to stoop or rise when he wishes 
to take the laden basket on his shoulders. He simply 
places his back to the basket, arranges the straps over 
his shoulders, and marches off to the spot where 
the manure is wanted. To march steadily and quickly 
in an alley, about a foot wide, between rows of frames, 
with a couple of hundredweights of manure on the 
back, necessitates a good deal of skill which can 
only be acquired by practice. Having reached his 


destination, the workman tilts his basket to the 
right or left, and shoots the manure from it almost 
exactly in the same way as a coalheaver gets rid 
of his sack of coals. 

above, other tools will be required. Amongst those most 
generally useful will be found steel spades, shovels, 
dung forks and digging forks, iron rakes (of which the 
American pattern is best), dibbers and trowels for 
transplanting, line and reel, and other odds and 
ends that will suggest themselves from time to time. 

THERMOMETERS are almost indispensable in a 
" French " garden so that one may see at a glance 
whether the temperature is too high or too low for 
a specific purpose. Hot-bed or plunge thermometers 
are particularly useful, as it is easy, especially for 
beginners, to misjudge the heat of a bed and mis- 
judgment may mean a serious loss at times. 

As all gardeners must constantly keep an eye upon 
" the weather, and the setting of the winds," a good 
barometer in the house will always be found of the 
greatest use, in addition to the thermometers. 

WATER-POTS. These indispensable adjuncts to a 
garden vary much in shape and size, and those used 
in France are built on somewhat different lines from 
those used in this country. The French gardeners 
prefer water-pots as shown in fig. 15, from which it 
will be seen that the strong, curved handle runs 
from near the base of the can on one side to the ex- 
treme margin on the other. This style of handle 
enables the gardener to use two water-pots one in 
each hand without having to put them down for 
refilling. When carrying water the handle is held 


on top right over the body of the can. When, how- 
ever, water is being poured from the spout, the gardener, 
with an expert jerk, brings his hands farther back 
along the handle. This naturally sends the water 
out of the spout with force, and thus the water-pot 
in each hand can be emptied without placing it on 
the ground. When empty, the cans are slid or jerked 
back into a vertical position, and filled and emptied 
again in the same way as often as necessary. 


The best water-pots are made in copper, and last 
a life-time indeed, they almost become heir-looms. 
They cost from 255. to 305. a pair, each one holding 
about 2j to 3 gallons of water. English growers will 
probably prefer their own water-pots, which they 
can handle just as dexterously as the Frenchman 
handles his. 

The long-handled spades, or shovels, and forks are 
not likely to commend themselves to English gardeners 
who have been so long accustomed to the loop-handled 
tools. They are, however, specially suitable for 


French gardening. It certainly appears much easier 
to fill a manure-basket with a long-handled fork than 
with a short one, and the long-handled spade or shovel 
is a convenience when filling the frames with soil. 


Under ordinary conditions the proper application 
of water to the roots of plants requires a good deal of 
care and judgment, as every professional gardener 
knows. When, however, plants are grown under 
forced conditions under cloches and lights on hot-beds, 
it is more than ever essential that watering should 
be done carefully and judiciously. All plants do not 
absorb water from the soil at the same rate. The 
roots of some kinds are much more active than those 
of others ; consequently, the gardener must have this 
knowledge " at the back of his head " whenever he 
waters his crops. The temperature, both outside and 
inside the frames and cloches, must be taken into 
account, also the particular period of the year, and the 
weather actually prevailing at the time. Sometimes 
an abundance of water will be given, but on other 
occasions perhaps a mere sprinkling overhead will 
suffice for the same crops. Over-watering i.e. giving 
too much must be just as carefully avoided as under- 
watering, or not giving sufficient when the plants need 
it. In the case of over- watering the soil or mould is 
apt to become sour and sodden, fresh air is excluded, 
the tender roots perish through suffocation or absence 
of oxygen, or the lower leaves are attacked with some 
fungoid disease which sets up rapid discoloration and 
decay throughout the entire plant. On the other 


hand, a lack of water at the roots causes the leaves to 
droop or " flag," in which condition they are unable 
to assimilate even the small amount of carbonic acid 
gas floating in the atmosphere, or to perform their 
other functions properly. The result may be to induce 
the plants to " bolt " into flower prematurely. To 
strike the happy medium, therefore, is the constant 
aim of the cultivator, and this can only be done by 
exercising his intellectual faculties and making use 
of the knowledge he has already acquired. 

WATERING IN WINTER. So far as early crops or 
" primeurs " of Carrots, Radishes, Lettuces, Cauli- 
flowers, etc., are concerned, no water, as water, is 
actually applied to the hot-beds on which they are 
raised or growing from January to March. These 
early crops secure sufficient moisture from the damp, 
hot manure beneath them, and this obtains its supplies 
by capillary attraction from the rains that run into 
the narrow pathways from the lights. It thus becomes 
necessary to open the lights only when absolutely 
needful, and the danger of chilling the plants by cold 
water is thus avoided during the coldest period of 
the year. 

In the spring and early summer, and then onwards 
during the growing season, the application of water 
becomes an important feature in the day's work. 
Generally speaking, it is best to give water either in 
the mornings before ten o'clock, or in the afternoon 
after three, four, or five o'clock, according to circum- 
stances and convenience. Watering should always be 
avoided during the middle of the day when the sun is 
very hot. Tender-leaved plants especially are liable 
to be severely scorched and spoiled by having water 


upon them at this time, especially if any happen to 
be under a cloche or light, as the glass in either case 
acts as a lens, and concentrates the rays of the sun 
upon certain portions of the leaf surface. 

When crops are well established and in full growth 
during the summer months, water is applied freely 
by means of a hose attached to the nozzle of a stand- 
pipe. Standpipes should be fixed about every 20 or 
30 ft. to the 2 in. or 3 in. water-pipes running under- 
ground along the main pathways. This enables one 
to attach the hose to the nozzle of the most con- 
venient standpipe, and if the latter is provided with a 
good screw-valve, the flow and force of water can be 
easily regulated. 

In French market-gardens an ingenious contrivance 
is used to prevent long lengths of hose from trailing 
over the plants in the beds or frames. An iron stand, 
something like the capital letter H in shape, is pressed 
into the soil at the corner of a bed or row of frames. 
On the two upper arms, and on the cross-piece, is a 
movable metal reel. The hose-pipe rests on the cross- 
piece, and as it is pulled along, its progress is made 
easy by the movement of the reels. In this way, no 
matter how sharp the turn or bend, the hose-pipe does 
not " kink," and the free flow of water is in no way 


Under the headings of the various crops mentioned 
in this book instructions are given as to sowing the 
seeds in each instance. It may be well, however, to 
speak of seed-sowing in general a little more fully 



Seeds vary much in size, shape, and colour, but 
most of those we are dealing with may be described 
as " small " the only large ones of any note being 
those of the Dwarf or French, and Haricot Beans. 

No matter how small a seed may be, it contains 
all the rudiments of the future plant tightly packed 
away within its protecting coats. So long as the seed 
is alive and has been properly ripened, it possesses 
all the powers of germination or sprouting. It is a 
matter of common knowledge, however, that certain 
conditions are essential to induce seeds of any kind 
to germinate. These are : (i) a certain degree of 
warmth, according to the natural requirements of the 
species ; (2) moisture ; and (3) fresh air. When these 
conditions exist in conjunction with a properly 
prepared compost, we have everything essential for 
the good germination of seeds. 

Even with these conditions there is a danger that 
young plants may never appear if the seeds are sown 
improperly. This danger arises only when the seeds 
are buried too deeply in the soil. One must, therefore, 
be careful that the smaller the seeds are the less deeply 
should they be sown ; in other words, they must not 
be covered with too much soil. A good general rule 
amongst gardeners when sowing seeds in warmth is 
to cover them with a layer of soil equal to twice their 
own diameter. Some tiny seeds, therefore, are prac- 
tically not covered at all, as they sink sufficiently deep 
into the miniature holes in the surface of the prepared 
compost after a gentle watering has been given. 
Seeds sown in the open air in early spring, or in autumn, 
however, may be covered rather more heavily as a 
protection against cold nights or frosts. 


It is obvious that if the seeds are not to be covered 
with too much soil, the beds upon which they are 
sown must be carefully prepared, and the particles 
of soil must be rendered sufficiently fine by passing 
through a sieve. In addition to this, the seed-bed 
must be made firm by pressing down with a piece of 
board, or even by treading down with the feet, after- 
wards finishing off the surface as level as possible 
by passing a straight-edged board over it, and even by 
patting it down gently with the flat side. The seeds 
are thus prevented from sinking too deeply into the 
soil, and when they germinate the seed-leaves soon 
reach the light and air from which they draw their 
food and energy. 

Whether the seeds are to be sown in tiny furrows, 
called " drills/' or scattered more or less evenly over 
the surface " broadcast," depends upon circumstances. 
As a rule such root crops as Carrots and Turnips are 
sown in " drills," while Radishes may be sown in 
drills, or broadcast, or even in patches between other 
crops. The different ways in which the various seeds 
are to be sown are mentioned under each particular 

In " intensive " cultivation it is essential to sow 
seeds evenly and thinly as a rule, to save trouble 
later on, although it is generally permissible to sow 
much thicker than in the open ground. 

THINNING OUT. With crops like Carrots, Turnips, 
and Radishes that are grown for their " roots," it is 
detrimental to lift the seedlings and transplant them 
to another place. All the roots would be spoiled by 
doing so ; they would become " fanged " or " forked," 
instead of being symmetrically shaped, owing chiefly 


to the original tap-root being injured by moving, no 
matter how carefully done. Such root-crops, therefore, 
are allowed to mature in the spot where the seeds are 
sown. If the young plants, however, are too close 
together, they suffer sooner or later, owing to lack 
of air and light. Hence it becomes necessary to pull 
out the weakest seedlings, thus allowing more root 
space and air space for the sturdier plants. This is 
called " thinning out." 

PRICKING OUT. Crops that are not grown for their 
roots, but for their heads, such as Cauliflowers, Lettuces, 
Cabbages, etc., are generally moved from the bed 
in which the seeds are sown. This moving is an 
advantage, as more root fibres and consequently 
more feeding agents are thus produced, and more 
nourishment is absorbed in a given time from the 
soil than would be the case with an unmoved plant. 

In " intensive " cultivation, French market- 
gardeners do not leave their seedlings so long in 
the seed-bed as is customary in England. Soon after 
the first true leaves appear beyond the seed-leaves, 
or cotyledons, the baby seedlings are " pricked out " 
into prepared beds, either in frames or under cloches. 
They are then gently watered, shaded from strong 
sunshine for two or three days, during which period 
also no outer air is admitted. This method ensures 
the more rapid establishment of the young plants, 
which consequently come earlier to a state of maturity. 

When French gardeners are pricking out seedlings 
of Lettuces, Cauliflowers, etc., on the soft beds, they 
rarely use a dibber or stick. The index-finger is used 
instead for making holes in the compost, and it is 
astonishing how rapidly seedling after seedling is 


put into its place and made firm with the fingers. 
The French gardener literally carries a dibber at 
the tips of his fingers, and he nearly always inserts 
the plant right up to lower leaves or seed-leaves. 

TRANSPLANTING. Sometimes as will be noted from 
time to time in the following pages seedlings are 
moved a second time before they are placed in their 
final positions. In such cases, however, they are 
considerably larger, and the roots will have branched 
further into the soil in all directions. Under these 
conditions, each plant is carefully lifted with a " ball 
of soil " attached to the roots. It is then placed in 
position with the aid of a trowel the lower leaves 
just on the surface of the ground and the new soil 
is pressed firmly round the base of the plant and 
the roots. 


These two operations almost go hand in hand, 
and a good deal of common sense is necessary to 
enable the gardener to know exactly when to do one 
or the other or both. 

As a rule, young seedlings that are just pricked 
out or transplanted are shaded from strong sunshine 
by covering the lights or cloches with mats. At this 
particular period, when the plants have been more 
or less injured at the roots by lifting, it is advisable 
to check the evaporation of moisture or vapour from 
the millions of minute breathing pores on ithe surfaces 
of the leaves. As evaporation goes on more rapidly 
in sunlight and in a dry atmosphere than it does 
in the shade and in a moist atmosphere, it is obvious 



that the latter conditions are most likely to help 
plants, as the injured roots for the time being are 
unable to suck up moisture from the surrounding 
soil. These injured roots, however, soon heal up 
under normal conditions, and masses of new fibres 
develop behind the injured tips of the older roots. 
In this way, after the temporary check, the plants 
are really better off than they were before, by having 
more feeding roots, and the effect is soon apparent 
by the way the leaves stand up, and by the develop- 
ment of fresh growths. When the gardener sees this 
he knows the plants have established themselves in 
their new home. Therefore he removes the shading 
material, except perhaps when he considers the sun 
to be still too powerful. 

When freshly moved seedlings are shaded from 
the sun, the frames or cloches also are shut down 
tightly. In this way the moisture or vapour arising 
from the soil is prevented from escaping. It is kept 
in the air immediately round the leaves and stems 
of the young plants, and thus prevents the sap in the 
tissues from being given off freely into the atmosphere. 
When the lights and cloches are kept shut down in 
the way described, the plants are said to be kept 
" close " meaning that the outer air is not allowed 
to circulate freely about them for a certain time. 
Once, however, the plants are again in a growing 
condition, or have " picked up " as gardeners say, 
it is essential to allow them as much air and light 
as possible, consistent with the necessary warmth 
and moisture. Otherwise they would become weak 
and lanky " drawn," as the saying is and the 
tissues would be so soft, tender, and flabby, that the 


plants would be quite useless for any purpose- 
scarcely fit for rabbit food even. 

When growing Lettuces, Cauliflowers, Carrots, 
Radishes and other crops mentioned in the following 
pages under lights or cloches, the gardener will at 
once recognise the great importance of giving light 
and air at exactly the right moments, in accordance 
with the instructions given ; and in doing so he 
must always take the state of the weather into account. 

By using the tilts (see figs. 9 to 12) for lights and 
cloches, or even bricks or blocks of wood, as much 
or as little air may be given as desired. On very 
cold days, perhaps only a " crack " of air, as gardeners 
say, is given by placing the tilts on the lowest notch 
or on the thinnest side ; and even then perhaps no 
air will be given until near mid-day just for an 
hour or so according to climatic conditions. On 
other occasions, such as a bright balmy morning, air 
may be given quite early, and perhaps the cloches 
or lights will be opened to the full extent of the tilts 
used. This is called " putting on full air." 

Whether much or little air is given, it is always 
advisable, as already stated, to note the direction of 
the wind. The tilt is then placed on the opposite 
side of the cloche or light, so that the draught does 
not blow directly on to the tender heads of the plants, 
but passes over them without causing a chill, and 
a possible check to the growth. 


One of the most interesting and striking features 
of intensive cultivation is the way in which the same 


piece of ground is made to carry several crops in 
the course of a season. The crops are generally 
dissimilar in vegetation, and to secure the best results 
quick-growing plants are grown with those of a slower 
development. Thus it is usual to sow Early Radishes 
and Carrots on the same bed, and to plant Lettuces 
over them. The Radishes germinate quickly and 
do not interfere with the slower-growing Carrots, as 
they are taken off before the latter reach any size. 
The Lettuces on the same bed have grown into sale- 
able produce in the meantime, and when they are 
gathered, the Carrots then have the soil, air, and 
light to themselves but very often the borders of 
the beds are planted with Cauliflowers, which mature 
after the Carrots have been pulled. 

Even in the open air this system of combination 
crops is generally practised. I have seen in the 
neighbourhood of Vitry ground covered with Lettuces 
and Endives in various stages of growth, and between 
the rows quick catch-crops like Spinach and Radishes 
have been sown. Before these attain any great 
height, the other crops will have been taken off the 

In the following pages numerous examples of 
combination crops, and intercropping, are given, 
and there can be no doubt that, practised judiciously, 
the system has much to recommend it. At no season 
of the year need the ground be without a crop of some 

The principle underlying the " rotation of crops " 
is also carried out regularly in gardens devoted to 
intensive cultivation. Thus, the ground which this 
year, perhaps, is carrying crops of Carrots, Cauli- 


flowers, Lettuces, Radishes, Endives, Spinach, etc., etc., 
will be utilised next year for the production of Melons, 
and open-air crops generally, and vice versa. In 
this way a certain portion of the garden is always 
more or less exposed to the weather, and is kept 
" sweet " and in good condition for other crops, by 
the fresh air circulating amongst its particulars. 


In a volume devoted to the French system of garden- 
ing, it may not be out of place to refer to the produce 
that is sent to the markets of the French capital. The 
differences in taste and custom between the French 
and English peoples naturally result in totally different 
kinds of fruits and vegetables being grown for com- 
mercial purposes. What the French market -gardener 
therefore finds to be a remunerative crop in his own 
market, the English grower would most likely discover 
to be a drug in Covent Garden, or in any of the large 
provincial markets in the kingdom. From the follow- 
ing remarks of mine, in the American Florist, the 
reader may readily see how very different the vegetable 
produce in the Paris market is from that generally 
sent to Covent Garden : 

" Almost in the centre of Paris on the north bank 
of the Seine, and opposite the famous church of St. 
Eustache, are to be found the famous markets of 
Paris known as the Halles Centrales. Meat, fish, 
poultry, fruits, flowers and vegetables are all to be 
found beneath the roof of the famous building erected 
by Baltard in 1874, which embraces altogether an area 
of about 22 acres. To see the markets at their best, 


a visit should be paid about five o'clock in the morning. 
Amongst horticultural produce, the vegetables seem 
to be of far more importance here than either the 
fruits or flowers. Most of the business in the vegetable 
market is done by women, and row after row of stalls 
are laden with produce sent in from the market-gardens 
all round the city. 

" There is a general similarity between the Halles 
Centrales and Co vent Garden, London, so far as noise, 
bustle, and activity are concerned, but there is a great 
difference in the produce displayed for sale. Vegetables 
that one rarely sees in Co vent Garden, such as Au- 
bergines, Butter Beans, Black Radishes, Haricots 
Verts, Cantaloup Melons, etc., are greatly in evidence 
in Paris, and it is evident that a flourishing trade is 
done in produce that would probably fail to find a 
customer in London. Salads always constitute a 
large proportion of the vegetable market in Paris, 
where, of course, the marketing is largely in the hands 
of the mothers and daughters of the various families 
who deal direct with the growers. 

" At the time of my last visit to the Central Markets 
I was particularly struck with the large quantities of 
Globe Artichokes on sale. They were on every stall, 
and were selling for about 6d. to is. a dozen heads. 
Mushrooms also were in fair abundance and were 
realising about 8d. to gd. per pound. A rather long 
tapering turnip known as ' Croissy ' was in great 
abundance, and although it has been grown by Parisian 
market-gardeners for several generations, it is still 
considered one of the best all-round varieties. 
Radishes, the small red varieties with white tips, were 
of course in evidence everywhere, and they looked so 


nice and fresh and enticing that it is no wonder they 
sell in enormous quantities. The Melons of the 
Cantaloup Prescott variety were on almost every 
stall, but they were cheap in comparison with what 
they had realised earlier in the season. Indeed, the 
street hawkers had barrow-loads of these Melons 
which they sold in portions at the rate of 2d. or $d. 
a pound to passers-by during August. 

" Carrots, the short stump-rooted varieties, are 
always great favourites in Paris, while there was also 
an abundance of Golden Celery, Cauliflowers, Sorrel, 
Garlic, Endive, and Lettuces. I was rather struck 
with the quantity of small green Vegetable Marrows 
offered for sale. The fruits were not more than 6 
or 7 in. long and were obviously as fresh as 
they could well be. I was informed that they sold 
remarkably well, as also did the small Prickly Cu- 
cumbers known as ' cornichons.' White-fruited 
Cucumbers were fairly conspicuous, and as they are 
not extensively grown, they realise fairly good prices. 
The long green-fruited Cucumbers are, however, the 
most highly appreciated. The Black Radishes, which 
look like intermediate carrots or Croissy turnips that 
have been smothered in soot, cannot fail to attract 
attention. All over Paris these curious-looking 
vegetables were to be seen in the greengrocers' shops." 


Although the French system of intensive cultivation 
is regarded as being confined to the production of 
vegetables and salads, there is no reason why the 


cloches and frames in use may not be turned to good 
account in connection with other crops. From the 
nature of the implements, it is obvious that short- 
stemmed or dwarf-growing crops are likely to lend 
themselves successfully to the treatment, and the 
following may be regarded chiefly in the light of 

I. Strawberries. Amongst important fruits, Straw- 
berries may be looked upon as being particularly 
suited for growing under lights or cloches to produce 
early crops. At present these are grown in pots in 
greenhouses, close to the glass, and require considerable 
time and attention in regard to watering, syringing, 
regulation of temperature, and keeping free from 
mildew. Grown under cloches, or in beds that will 
accommodate the frames and lights used for salads, it 
would be possible to secure early crops of Strawberries 
in spring from young plantations without going to 
the trouble of lifting the plants and potting them in 
the autumn. For instance, in the case of beds, it 
would be possible after placing the frames and lights 
over the plants, to fill in the pathways with manure 
from which heat would be generated in the frames in 
accordance with the requirements of the season. A 
certain amount of the short, warm manure could also 
be worked in between the rows of plants without 
disturbing the roots, and when the fruits were swelling, 
a layer of clean litter could be added for the sake of 
cleanliness. In this way the Strawberries would come 
into bearing more quickly, and watering and ventilation 
could be attended to without inconvenience. Once 
the fruits are gathered, the frames and lights, and 
manure in the pathways, may be used for other pur- 


poses. Of course Strawberries grown in pots could 
also be forced in the frames if necessary. 

Cloches would be found useful for placing over the 
crowns of the Strawberry plants, if these were planted 
in three angled rows in the same way as Lettuces, as 
shown in fig. 41. Each plant would have a cloche 
to itself, and in cold weather warm manure could be 
packed in between and around the glasses to keep the 
plants warm. Later on, when the weather became 
warmer, it might be possible to have a Cos or Cabbage 
Lettuce planted in the spaces between the cloches ; 
and these would probably be useful afterwards for 
placing over the Lettuces, according to the season. 

2. Tomatoes. In most parts of the kingdom it is 
dangerous to place Tomato plants in the open air till 
the end of May or early in June, owing to the frosts 
and cold nights. If, however, hot-beds of the regula- 
tion width to accommodate three rows of cloches were 
prepared, and a gentle heat from the manure were 
secured, it would be quite possible to sow Tomato 
seeds under a cloche or two as early as January or 
February, in the gritty mould that would be placed 
over the manure. The strongest plants would be 
pricked out in due course, and after becoming estab- 
lished, air would be given more or less freely by tilting 
the cloches on all favourable occasions. This would 
keep the young plants sturdy and actively growing at 
the same time. If by chance they grew too tall for 
the cloches before it was safe to dispense with the 
latter (one being placed under each as soon as possible), 
the glasses could be raised on three tilts, bricks, or 
blocks of wood, in the way described for Cucumbers 
at p. 128, When frost is no longer feared, the cloches 


may be dispensed with, and the plants will continue 
to develop and ripen their fruits without having to 
undergo the usual check to the roots caused by moving. 
The plants, of course, should be staked, and during 
the season all the side shoots (" laterals ") from the 
main stems should be pinched out when they appear. 
Only four trusses of flowers should be allowed to 
set their fruits. The tops should be cut off about 
two leaves beyond the upper truss of flowers. The 
leaves, however, should not be cut off or mutilated 
in any way, except when they turn yellow at the base 
of the plant. 

3. Early Potatoes. Where these are valued it ought 
not to be difficult to secure a good crop early in 
the year, with the aid of cloches and frames, and 
warm manure, the operations being much the same as 
described for Tomatoes except, of course, that tubers 
instead of seeds are being dealt with. 

4. Marrows. These are an important crop when 
the fruits can be secured early in the season. The 
Bush Marrows, as well as the creeping kinds, might 
be very easily established early in the year in the 
following way : About February, or early in March, 
dig out a few spadefuls of soil where each plant is to 
grow. The hole thus made should be filled with a 
layer about a foot thick of hot manure, and covered 
with about 6 in. of nice, rich, gritty mould. When 
the rank heat, if any, has subsided and the temperature 
is about 70 to 75 Fahr., two or three Marrow seeds 
should be sown about 2 in. deep in the centre of 
each little bed, and after being watered in, should be 
covered with a cloche. As many little hot-beds as are 
required can be made in this way, allowing enough 


space between each for the development of the plants 
later on. After germination air is given as freely as 
possible, considering the weather, and by the middle 
or end of May, or before that period in many parts, 
it will be possible to remove the cloches altogether. 
Attention to copious waterings and pinching the shoots 
afterwards constitute the chief cultural details to 
secure an abundance of early Marrows. 

5. Mint. This is another useful and highly ap- 
preciated crop when it comes in with the early Potatoes 
and Green Peas. It could be grown quite easily in the 
hot-beds in the frames, and could be forced into tender 
growth as early as required by lining the frames with 
warm manure if necessary. 

6. Rhubarb. Where one can draw upon a planta- 
tion of Rhubarb, clumps may be lifted for forcing 
from December till the end of March, as the young 
and highly coloured leaved-stalks often realise good 
prices at this period of the year. For lifted clumps 
the process of forcing is almost precisely the same 
as described at p. 76 for the production of green 
Asparagus, the one essential difference being that 
the Rhubarb should be grown in the dark. Rhubarb 
may also be forced without lifting, in the same way 
as described for White Asparagus (see p. 73). The 
varieties called "Linnaeus," "Champagne," and 
" Myatt's Victoria " are the best for forcing. 

7. Violets. Passing to flowers, perhaps the single- 
flowered and double-flowered varieties of Violets may 
be regarded as a good commercial crop early in the 
season, owing to their delicious fragrance. The general 
custom is to lift the clumps early in autumn and 
replant in frames of rich soil. This operation might 


be carried out in the same way with hot-beds, but later 
in the year altogether. It would also be possible to 
have the Violet-beds arranged so that they could be 
easily covered with frames and lights, or cloches, 
without the plants being moved at all. Indeed, the 
treatment described for obtaining early Strawberries 
(see p. 60) might be carried out with advantage in the 
cultivation of early Violets ; and with good annual 
mulchings of manure and plenty of water when 
required the plants would continue to yield large crops 
of blossoms for years. 

8. Christmas Roses (Helleborus niger). During 
December and January large numbers of these pure 
white blossoms find their way to market and are highly 
appreciated. To secure these, the clumps have to 
be lifted and carried into a warm greenhouse to open 
their blossoms. If, however, the beds on which they 
are grown were to be only the width of the frames 
and lights, it would be an easy matter to force them 
into early blossom by filling up the pathways between 
the frames with hot manure, in the same way as for 
Strawberries (p. 60). With cloches, however, it would 
be possible to cover each crown, and place the manure 
between. As great heat is not necessary, the Christmas 
Rose seems to be particularly well suited for this 
system of cultivation. 

9. Miscellaneous. Several other popular plants, 
such as early Tulips, Lilies of the Valley, Primroses, 
Polyanthuses, Auriculas, Forget-me-Nots, etc., might 
be brought earlier into blossom if desired by the 
judicious use of frames and cloches. 

During July and August, when the lights and cloches 
are usually stacked away in heaps and piles in French 


gardens, many of them might be utilised for the 
propagation of Roses and other beautiful, shrubby 
plants from the half-ripened summer shoots. Indeed, 
it is possible, with the enormous varieties of plants 
now in cultivation, that there are many different ways 
still unthought of, to which the use of the frame and 
cloche may be extended. It should, however, be 
borne in mind that excursions into these other branches 
of gardening would necessitate more land, labour, etc., 
and the results might not be worth the trouble in 
all cases. 



IN this portion of the work the various methods of 
culture practised in French gardens is detailed. Each 
crop is dealt with separately, so that its special needs 
may not be overlooked. While the functions of all 
green-leaved plants are the same, it is important 
for the gardener to bear in mind that many modifi- 
cations of general principles are rendered necessary 
according to the period of the year at which he desires 
his crops to mature. Thus, what may be perfectly 
sound practice in January and December, may be 
quite erroneous in June and July. The state of the 
weather and the various seasons must always be 
taken into account, and conditions have to be modified 
almost with every rise and fall in the barometer. 
Rain, snow, hail, frost, sun, and wind all have im- 
portant influences on vegetation, and the intelligent 
cultivator must keep a steady eye on these to see 
that his special cultures are in no way adversely 
affected. He must be, in fact, a kind of weather- 
prophet and be able to gauge climatic changes with 
a fair amount of accuracy if he is to succeed. 




There are many varieties of Globe Artichokes 
(Cynara Scolymus), but the Parisian market-gardeners 
prefer the one called Gros Vert de Laon. Another 
variety, called Camus de Bretagne, is grown in Brittany, 
and is often eaten in an uncooked state. Other kinds 
are grown in the middle and south of France that 
would be quite unsuitable for either a Parisian or 
English climate. 

Globe Artichokes may be raised from seeds, but 
are more generally increased by carefully detaching 
suckers from the old roots in March or April. The 
suckers are planted in a warm bed, and if kept watered 
as required, they soon make nice plants fit for the 
.open air. The soil should be rich, deeply dug, and 
well manured. During the summer months the 
plants should be given plenty of water at the roots 
if particularly fine heads are desired. This, coupled 
with abundance of manure and the frequent use of 
the hoe, constitute the chief features of cultural 

Although not grown in England at present to such 
an extent as in France, there is no reason why the 
taste for the floral bracts of the Globe Artichoke 
should not increase. 

When it is desired to force the plants, the operation 
is performed much in the same way as described 
for Asparagus (see p. 76). The plants are taken up 
carefully in November, and placed in a hot-bed, the 
heat of which is maintained, if necessary, by lining 
the frames with hot manure. 



Although each year Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis] 
is becoming more and more popular in the British 
Islands, its consumption is chiefly confined to those 
who are in no danger of receiving an old age pension 
from the Government. In France it is otherwise. 
Almost every one, even the cottager, eats Asparagus 
and such Asparagus ! thick, succulent, well-flavoured 

That fine Asparagus can be grown in the British 
Islands there is no doubt whatever. It is not a 
matter of soil and climate. In either respect we are 
quite as well off as our French brethren. It is simply 
a question of careful attention to the minor details 
of cultivation that enables the French gardener to 
produce, even on comparatively poor soil, some of 
the finest Asparagus in the world. There are three 
methods of growing Asparagus in French gardens, the 
culture on a large scale of course being carried on 
quite apart from that of early salads and vegetables. 
First of all, there is what is known as " white " or 
" blanched " Asparagus ; then " green " Asparagus ; 
after which comes the " Argenteuil " Asparagus. 

White Asparagus. Raising the Plants. To secure 
good Asparagus it is essential in the first place to 
obtain seeds of a good strain from a reliable source. 
The roots that produce clean, thick, well-formed shoots, 
terminating in a good point that colours easily, are 
those from which seeds should be saved when ripe. 
The best variety for the purpose is Early Argenteuil. 

The seeds are sown about thejniddle of January on a 


nicely prepared hot-bed under lights, and sufficiently 
thick to allow of a second selection being made 
later on. 

When the young plants are a few inches high, the 
very best are selected and carefully pricked out in 
another frame 2 or 3 in. apart. This will admit 
about three or four hundred plants under each light. 
After a gentle watering, the young plants are kept 
" close " for a few days, after which a little air may 
be given on all fine days. As the season advances, 
more and more air may be given, until at length, 
say about May, the lights may be taken off. altogether 
when frosts are no longer feared. Previous to this, 
care must be taken to protect the plants from frost 
during the night by spreading mats or litter over the 
lights when necessary. 

Planting. About the middle of July these young 
plants will be ready for planting in their final quarters. 
At this period it will be easy to distinguish the finest- 
looking plants ; and these only should be chosen for 
the plantation. To secure a sufficient supply, it is 
necessary to sow larger quantities of seed and to 
prick out more plants than are actually needed, so 
that there may be no difficulty in making a good 
selection the first year. 

Experienced growers have remarked that clumps 
which produce thin shoots at first continue to do so 
year after year. Such shoots are produced more 
freely than the larger and more succulent ones, it is 
true ; but one fat shoot is more highly valued than 
five thin ones. Besides, there is more sense in growing 
the best and most saleable shoots, as their cultivation 
entails no more attention than the poorer kinds. 



The soil in which the Asparagus plants are to be 
placed should if possible be light, rich, deeply trenched 
and well manured in advance. It should also slope 
more or less towards the south so as to receive the 
full benefit from the sun. 

Intercropping. The ground between the young 
plants is not left idle. Short Carrots, Lettuces, 
Spinach, Corn Salad, Radishes, or any other dwarf 
and quick-growing crop may be grown between the 
rows without the slightest danger to the Asparagus. 
Even Cabbages and Cauliflowers may be grown on the 
edges of each bed, and in the pathways between them 
each crop, of course, at its proper season. The 
necessary hoeings and waterings that must be given 
these crops, instead of being detrimental to the young 
Asparagus, are in reality of great benefit, so much 
so that very often they make as much progress in 
one season as Asparagus plants grown in the ordinary 
way in the open air do in two or three seasons. 

After the plants have flowered, no seed capsules are 
allowed to form, as they exhaust a certain amount of 
reserve material from the tissues. About the end of 
October or in November the stems are cut down 
within an inch or two of the soil, the surface of which 
is hoed or lightly pricked up with the fork. A good 
layer of fine rich soil is then spread over the bed, and 
on this again a good layer of manure. Each autumn 
this work is renewed to give a fresh supply of nourish- 
ment to the roots. 

As the plants will be ready for forcing at the end 
of two years' growth, although it is better to wait till 
the end of the third year, it is advisable to mark out 
the beds wide enough to accommodate the frames 


and lights which are to go over them. The length 
of these beds will, of course, be determined according 
to the extent of the ground or the requirements of 
the grower. As a rule the beds are 4 ft. 5 in. 
in width, as this is the usual size of the frames and 
lights used. The beds should run lengthways from 
east to west, so that the lights will slope towards the 
south ; and it will be found more convenient if each 
bed does not exceed 100 ft. in length. 

Between one Asparagus bed and another a pathway 


about 2 ft. or 2 ft. 6 in. in width should be left 
(see fig. 1 6). 

Having marked out the Asparagus beds by lines 
or pegs, about a foot of soil is taken off the surface 
of the first one, and wheeled to the end of the last 
bed. The trench thus made is then filled in with 
a mixture of good horse and cow manure, and, if 
possible, a little night soil all of which should have 
been prepared three or four weeks beforehand, and 
should be in a half-decomposed and homogeneous 
condition. In " light " soils the quantity of cow 
manure may be increased a little, but in " heavy " 
soils the horse manure should predominate. With this 
manure many growers mix also old rags, horn-shavings, 


shoddy, etc. taking care, however, not to add too 
much. The manure in the trenches having been 
trodden down well with the feet, so that it is about 
a foot thick, about 6 or 8 in. of soil from the ad- 
joining bed is then spread evenly over the surface. 

Four rows are marked out in the bed lengthways. 
The two outer rows are about 8 in. from each 
margin, the two centre ones being about 13 in. 
apart. If wider or narrower frames are used the 
distance between the rows would be regulated accord- 
ingly ; but in any case it would be necessary to keep 
the two outer rows at least 8 or 9 in. away from 
the edges of the beds. 

Transplanting. Everything being now ready, so 
far as the beds are concerned, one may proceed to 
lift the young plants from the bed in which they were 
pricked out from the seed-bed. It may be advisable, 
however, to give them a good soaking an hour or 
two beforehand so that they may be lifted more 
easily and with some soil still adhering to the roots. 
Having lifted them carefully with a fork, a selection 
of the very best plants is again made. From twelve 
to twenty " crowns " or clumps may be placed in 
each light although sixteen is recommended as the 
best number. 

If the frames have not been placed in position 
before the actual planting, it will be necessary to 
allow more space between the plants at the end of 
one frame and the beginning of the next. For this 
reason it is perhaps advisable to place the frames 
temporarily in position as soon as the beds have been 
made. One can then arrange the plants in the rows 
so that the Asparagus crowns do not come directly 


under the division or sash bars, but are properly 
placed beneath the glass itself. 

In the spot where each plant is to be placed, a 
little heap of soil is made with the hands, so as to 
fill the cavity on the under-side of the crown, and 
permit the roots being spread out in all directions 
from the centre. After this, it is only necessary to 
cover the crowns with fine rich soil to a depth of 3 
or 4 in., and then give the whole a good soaking with 

The young plants soon commence to make new 
growths, and only require to be kept free from weeds, 
in addition to which the stems should be tied up to 
sticks if necessary. 

Forcing White Asparagus. When the young plants 
have finished their second or preferably their third 
season of growth, they will be sufficiently strong to 
stand being forced into early growth. This takes 
place from November to February, although some 
growers commence as early as the middle of October. 

The work is carried out as follows : Having placed 
the frames on the beds which are to be forced, a 
layer of fine rich soil and old manure is spread over 
the plants. The pathways are then dug out to a 
depth of 12 to 18 in. The soil thus obtained is 
broken up into a fine condition with the spade or 
the fork, and is spread evenly over the mould in 
the frames to a depth of 10 or 12 in. This is done 
to secure longer and finer stalks later on. 

The sunken pathways are now filled up with good 
fresh manure that has been turned over two or three 
times in advance. This manure should reach to the 
top of the frames and lights, and after being trodden 


down, it should be well watered so as to accelerate 
the generation of heat. 

Before placing the lights on the frames the soil 
should be watered if inclined to be dry, and even a 
layer of manure may be spread over the beds to 
hasten the growth of the Asparagus. Care, however, 
should be taken to remove this manure as soon as the 
tender shoots appear above the surface of the soil. 

During the period of growth a temperature of 60 
to 70 Fahr. should be maintained, but no air whatever 
is given. Watering is, however, attended to when 
necessary, as a humid atmosphere is essential to secure 
the best results. 

Every ten days or a fortnight the frames should 
be banked up or " lined " with large or small quantities 
of fresh manure according to the state of the weather, 
the object being to maintain an even temperature 
within the frames. 

Light is excluded during the daytime with mats ; and 
during the night-time the lights must also be covered 
with one or more mats according to the state of the 
weather. The temperature inside the frames should 
never fall below 55 Fahr., otherwise the shoots will 
be attacked with " rust " and become unsaleable. 

Under these conditions fine shoots of Asparagus will 
be ready at the end of twenty to twenty-five days 
after forcing has commenced, and then cutting may 
take place every two or three days until the crop is 
exhausted, which takes place in from four to six weeks. 
After each cutting it is a good plan to stand the 
shoots in clean water, and place them in a cellar for 
a short time so that the tips may become tinged 
with colour. 


When the crop is finished, the beds and linings of 
manure may be left untouched for several days to 
allow the heat to subside gradually, and also so that 
the plants may not be exposed too suddenly from a 
high to a low temperature. The frames and lights 
are then taken off, the manure from the pathways is 
utilised for dressing the ground for other vegetables, 
and the upper soil from the beds is returned to the 
pathways from which it was originally taken. 

In practice, it is found more economical to force two 
beds of Asparagus running parallel than one, as the 
hot manure in the pathway then serves to heat both 
beds at the same time, and also to supply moisture by 
capillary attraction. To secure a succession of produce 
to the end of the season, an interval of from four to 
six weeks may be allowed between each bed, or group 
of beds, to be forced. 

As a rule only half the beds are forced one year, so 
that the other half shall have a rest, thus allowing the 
plants to recover from the strain placed upon them 
by the forcing process. 

Summer Treatment. During the summer months 
the plants that have been forced are allowed to grow 
naturally without further picking, while those that are 
to be forced the following year are also allowed to 
grow naturally and without being cut. 

Treated in this way Asparagus beds made in the 
way described will continue to yield good crops for 
twelve to fifteen years of what is known as " white " 
or " blanched " Asparagus. 

Green Asparagus. The plants^ [used for the pro- 
duction of " green " Asparagus should be at least 
two, if not three, years old, to secure the best results. 


These may be raised from seeds and transplanted in 
the way already described at p. 72, remembering that 
a good annual top-dressing of manure in the autumn 
or early winter months is necessary. A few good 
soakings during^dry seasons are also advisable, and 
care should be taken to have the tall stems staked 
up before they begin to lie upon the ground. 

When raising plants in this way for forcing later on, 
no young shoots whatever must be cut from them, as 
it is essential to develop strong, sturdy crowns with as 
many growths as possible. Of course each autumn 
the flowering stems are cut down to the ground, except 
the last year, when the crowns are to be forced. Then 
it is better to leave a few inches of the stems showing 
well above the soil to indicate the exact position of 
the plants, and to render the lifting as easy as possible. 

Forcing " Green " Asparagus. Forcing is practised 
from the middle of September till the beginning of 
March. The clumps or crowns are carefully lifted with 
a flat-tined fork, and are placed side by side on a few 
inches of rich mould that has previously been spread 
over the prepared hot-bed, or in a heated frame or 
warm greenhouse. 

Each season large growers of Asparagus advertise 
two or three year-old crowns, for forcing purposes, at 
reasonable rates, so there is realty no necessity for 
the intensive cultivator to devote time, labour, and 
land to the development of the plants. 

When a bed is used for forcing, it is made up of 
good manure until it is 2 to 3 ft. thick, and developing 
a temperature of 70 to 80 Fahr. An excellent 
hot-bed may be made from equal parts of fresh stable 
manure, old manure, and cow manure all of which 


should be well mixed together, and watered if inclined 
to be dry. 

The frames are placed on the beds when ready, 
and the pathways between are filled half-way up with 
manure. On the surface of each bed 2 to 3 in. 
of mould is spread, so that the roots of the Asparagus 
shall not come in direct contact with the manure, 
and so that their growth shall be hastened without 
running the risk of being burned. 

When the heat of the bed has sunk to 70 or 80 
Fahr., the Asparagus crowns are placed side by side 
without having the roots shortened or mutilated in 
any way. The larger and taller clumps are placed 
near the top of the frame, and the smallest towards 
the bottom, and from 500 to 600 crowns can be packed 
in under each light, according to their size. When 
arranging the clumps it is important that the tops 
should be at the same distance from the glass, sloping 
gradually from top to bottom with the fall of the 
lights. Some fine rich and gritty mould is then care- 
fully worked in between the crowns, and washed down 
amongst the roots with plenty of water ; after which 
some of the same mould should be spread over the 
tops of the crowns to a depth of a few inches. 

Lining. The work in the frames being finished, the 
pathways are then filled with manure up to the top 
of the frames if there is an inclination for the heat 
within to diminish. Manure is added or taken away 
from the pathways according as to whether the tem- 
perature is too low or too high. Towards night one, 
two, or three mats, according to the weather, should 
be placed over the lights for protection and to keep 
the heat constant by night as well as by day. 


As soon as the shoots begin to grow, a little air may 
be admitted during the day if the weather is favourable, 
and sprinklings with tepid water must be given from 
time to time. At the end of about a fortnight, the 
first shoots will be ready for cutting, and others will 
continue to appear for about eight or ten weeks, during 
which they are gathered every day or two, the crop 
from each light varying from 6,000 to 8,000 shoots. 
These, being exposed to the light, develop green 
colouring, differing in this way from the white Aspara- 
gus produced in darkness. 

When the crowns cease to produce any more growths 
the beds may be dismantled, or they may be made 
up again if it is still worth while to force another crop 
the same season. Once the roots have been forced in 
this way to produce " Green " Asparagus, they should 
be taken up and thrown away, as they are practically 
useless afterwards. 

Open-air Culture. It may be useful to English 
readers if the French method of growing Asparagus 
in the open air is described. So long as the soil is light 
and rather chalky, deeply cultivated and well manured 
at the beginning, the difficulties in the way of securing 
good Asparagus are not insuperable. A piece of land 
well exposed towards the south, and free from trees 
and shrubs, may be regarded as the most suitable 
place for an Asparagus plantation. At the same time 
shelter from the north and east by walls, fences, or 
hedges is a great boon, as the wind from those quarters 
has a retarding if not chilling effect upon the young 
growths in spring. 

Preparing and Planting the Beds. Having selected 
the site, the soil is dug about 18 in. deep and a 


good dressing of manure is incorporated with it, so 
that it decays completely during the winter months. 
In the spring about February the ground is 
marked out in beds, each one being a metre (39 in.) 
in width, except the first and last beds, which are 
only half the width of the others. The soil in the 
second, fourth, sixth, and the following even-numbered 
beds is then dug a good spit deep, and " ridged up," 
half of it being placed on the odd beds i, 3, 5, 7, etc., 
on one side, and half on the other as shown in the 
diagram (fig. 17). The trenches marked A, B, c, etc., 



rasa 3Q., y&yg&A 
, p A 3 IN B / 

I i i I L_l i_ 


thus formed are well manured and deeply dug. Three 
" drills," or shallow furrows, are then drawn from one 
end to the other, one being exactly in the centre, and 
the two others each about 8 or 9 in. from the 
sides. More modern growers, however, draw only 
two drills in each trench about 9 in. from each 
side, so that more space is given to the plants. The 
best one-year-old " crowns " are then planted in each 
row so as to be from 24 to 30 in. apart, the plants 
in one row being angled with those in the other. 

At the spot where each crown is to be planted a 
small heap of soil, about 2 in. high, is raised with 
the hands, and on this the young Asparagus plant 
is placed, taking care at the time to spread the roots 
out radially from the central tuft. A small stake is 
placed to each clump, to mark its position, after which 


the crowns are carefully covered by hand with a 
couple of inches of rich gritty soil. Some of the soil 
from the ridges on each side (see fig. 17) is then spread 
over the trenches to a depth of 5 or 6 in. 

Summer Treatment. During the summer months it 
will be necessary to keep the weeds down between the 
rows by frequent and careful use of the hoe, and 
occasional soakings with water will also be beneficial 
during very dry weather. About the end of September 
or early in October, when the stems have begun to 
wither, they may be cut down almost level with the 
ground. The soil is then carefully scooped away from 
the crown of each plant so as to form a circular basin 
about 8 in. in diameter. A little heap of some 
rich gritty soil and well-decayed manure and night 
soil is then placed in the basin over each crown, to 
serve as a fresh supply of nourishment for the roots, 
and also to throw off cold and heavy rains during the 
winter months. When performing this operation the 
spots where any plants have failed should be marked 
with a stick so that fresh plants may take their place 
the following year. 

The ridges between the beds (see fig. 17) may be 
utilised during the first season for the production of 
early Potatoes, Dwarf Beans, Lettuces, and other 
salads if necessary, but late-maturing crops should be 

Second Years Work. At the end of March or early 
in April, all vacant places having been replanted, the 
surface of the beds is lightly pricked up with a flat- 
tined fork so as to bury the manure placed over the 
crowns in the autumn. At the same period the ridges 
between the Asparagus trenches are dug over and 


manured, and prepared for such crops as early Carrots, 
early Potatoes, Dwarf Beans, Lettuces, Onions, and 
even Cabbages. 

About the end of April or early in May, a few inches 
of soil should be drawn up round each clump of As- 
paragus shoots. As these are now numerous, it is 
necessary to place a stake about a foot away from 
the base of each clump, inserting it obliquely at an 
angle of about 45, so that when the shoots become 
long enough they may be readily secured to the stakes. 
This not only prevents them from being blown about 
by the wind, but also enables the thread-like leaves 
(botanically known as " cladodes ") to be more fully 
exposed to the sunshine under whose influence only 
they can assimilate carbonic nourishment from the 
atmosphere to be stored up in the subterranean 

Hoeings and waterings are to be attended to as in 
the first year during the summer months. In the 
autumn the stems are again cut down within a few 
inches of the soil, the stakes are taken away, and a 
good dressing of rich soil and manure is spread over 
each plant after the old soil has been scraped away 
from the top of it in the way already described (see 
p. 80). 

Third Year's Work. About the middle of March 
an examination of the old stems sticking above the 
surface of the soil will enable one to see which are 
the stronger and which the weaker plants. A mound 
of rich soil about 6 or 8 in. high is then placed over 
those with the stoutest stems, as these indicate greatest 
strength. The weaker crowns, with more feeble 
stems, are not treated in this way, but are to be allowed 



another year's growth before any shoots are gathered 
from them ; they are, however, staked and otherwise 
attended to as already described for the first and 
second years. 

The stronger crowns over which the mounds of 
soil have been placed will each yield three or four 
fine shoots. When these are i or 2 in. through 
the mound of soil, and their tops have assumed a 
purplish tint, they are fit to be removed. This may 
be done with a special Asparagus knife, or perhaps 
better still, by inserting a finger behind the stalk 
required so that when bent forward it easily snaps 
off. In this way there is not the same danger of 
injuring the other shoots as there is when a knife 
is used. Shoots from these plants may be gathered 
as long as they appear until the middle of June, but 
not later. All cutting should cease at midsummer, 
so that the plants shall not become exhausted too 
much. Stakes should be placed to the plants as 
already described, but before doing so, the little 
mounds of soil placed over the clumps in March 
should be spread evenly over the beds. In the autumn, 
the stems are cut down again, the soil is carefully re- 
moved from the crowns to the ridges, and in November 
a thin layer of rich manure and a little gritty soil 
is placed over the plants. 

During this third year of growth the ridges between 
the beds should be dug and manured in the spring 
and prepared for such crops as Early Potatoes, Carrots, 
Lettuces, Spinach, or Dwarf Beans, etc., as in previous 

Fourth and Succeeding Years' Work. This is precisely 
the same as already described for the first three 


years. It must be borne in mind, however, that 
there will be more crowns to cover with mounds of 
soil in spring of the fourth year than there were in the 
third ; and there will be still more crowns for cutting 
in the fifth and sixth years than in those preceding 
them until every clump of Asparagus is in full 
bearing and thoroughly established. 

Each year the stout shoots only should be gathered 
from the strongest plants, the weakest shoots and 
plants being given another season of growth to 
enable them to gather more strength. And in any 
case no shoots should be gathered after the middle 
of June, as each plant must be allowed to develop 
a certain number of shoots to store up nourishment 
in the crowns before the autumn. 

From the sixth year onwards, the mounds placed 
over the crowns in March may be a foot or a little 
more in height, and also wider at the base, to completely 
cover the clump or " stool " of the plant beneath. 
When the shoots have pushed their way a couple of 
inches through the mounds they will have become 
tipped with rose, violet, or purple, and are then ready 
for gathering a process that may have to be repeated 
almost every day, according to the rapidity of the 
growth. After cutting has ceased, the mounds are 
levelled, and the plants are securely staked and tied 
in the way already described. In October the stems 
are to be cut down, leaving a few inches sticking out 
of the soil to indicate their position. Some of the 
old soil is taken away from the crowns, and a nice 
compost of manure and a little gritty soil is sub- 
stituted for it. Once the plants are in full bearing, 
an extra special dressing of manure may be given 


about every third or fourth year, and plantations 
treated in the way described will produce thousands 
of shoots for fifteen to twenty years. 

As the clumps, " stools," or crowns of Asparagus 
increase in diameter, the ridges between the beds 
gradually diminish in width each succeeding year, 
so that it becomes impossible sooner or later to culti- 
vate other crops on them as during the first years 
of forming the plantation. 

Argenteuil Asparagus. Argenteuil an ancient 
town about six miles north-west of Paris has been 
famous for centuries for its Asparagus plantations, and 
in the twentieth century the industry is as active as 
ever, if not more so. The methods of culture de- 
scribed in the preceding pages are followed pretty 
closely, but the Argenteuil growers have their own 
system, which, however, differs only in detail. 

When starting an Asparagus plantation the site 
chosen is first of all given a liberal dressing of manure 
about 24 tons to the acre in the autumn months. 
In February or March drills or furrows about 4 in. 
deep are drawn from one end of the ground to the 
other, 3 ft. and often 4 ft. apart. The soil is then 
drawn up on each side so as to form ridges. Between 
these the Asparagus crowns are planted in March or 
April, i metre (39 in.) apart. A circular basin, 
about a foot wide, is made, 4 or 5 in. deep, and in 
the centre of it a little mound of soil is raised with the 
hands. The Asparagus plant is then placed on 
the top of the mound, the roots are spread out in all 
directions, after which the crown is covered with 
a few handfuls of rich soil and well-decayed manure 
the latter often being night soil. During the 


summer months, the staking of the plants, hoeing, 
and watering, and other operations already described, 
are carried on until the stems are cut down in the 
autumn (see p. 80). When the beds have been 
established six years they are in full bearing, but 
from the third year onwards a few of the best shoots 
are gathered each season from the " crowns " that 
have been specially moulded up for the purpose. 
When in full bearing, the beds produce shoots for 
six or eight weeks, and these are generally gathered 
early in the morning, as they then retain their fresh- 
ness for a much longer period. From the sixth year 
onwards, it is necessary to give a good dressing of 
manure every other year, and with proper attention 
the beds may continue to yield good crops of Asparagus 
for twenty-five or even thirty years. Special attention, 
however, must be paid to the following cultural 
details : 

1. The plants should be 3 ft. or 4 ft. apart at the 

2. Manure every autumn until the sixth year ; 
afterwards every other year. 

3. Earth up the crowns in spring (see p. 81). 

4. Never gather the shoots after the middle of 

5. Level the mound of soil over the crowns in 


6. Expose the top roots to the air in October by 
drawing the soil away from them carefully with the 

7. In spring, clean each clump or crown from old 
or dead shoots and stems. 

8. Stake the plants every year (see p. 81). 



9. Cut only in accordance with the size and vigour 
of the plant. 

10. Always pick by hand instead of cutting with 
the Asparagus knife. 

By intelligent attention to these details the Argen- 
teuil growers have made themselves famous in the 
Asparagus world. 

CUTTING ASPARAGUS. When the shoots of Asparagus 
are sufficiently advanced in growth to be picked, some 
little care is necessary in detaching them from the 
parent rootstock hidden beneath the soil. The pro- 
fessional grower scorns to use any instrument except 
his fingers. Having scraped a little of the soil away, 
he inserts one or two fingers carefully behind the re- 
quired shoot, gently bends it forward, and in this way 
snaps it off without injury to the other shoots. Various 
knives are used, however. One kind has a long shank 
inserted in a wooden handle, while the cutting blade 
is curved like a small scythe, and has a saw-like edge. 
Flat-bladed and semi-circular bladed gouges are also 
used. Whatever instrument is used should be pushed 
carefully down amongst the shoots. A dexterous 
twist is then given with the wrist, by means of which 
the shoot is severed at the base, and is brought above 
the soil. 

BUNCHING ASPARAGUS. To make the Asparagus 
shoots into nice bundles as seen in the shops and 
markets, special frames, moulds, or " bunchers " are 
used, as shown in fig. 18. It is quite an art, making 
and tying the bundles. The shoots are first of all 
picked over, and all those too small or too thin for 
the mould are rejected, and afterwards made into 
bundles by themselves, and sold as " Sprue." The 


best shoots are again graded into firsts, seconds, and 
thirds. The " firsts " or best shoots are first of all 
placed in the frame so that they shall be on the outside 
of the bundle when tied. The next best shoots are 
added, and the smallest are placed in the centre. 
When the required number has been placed in the 
frame, the bundle is tied up firmly with two osier 
twigs. These are previously steeped in water to 


The board E, with fixtures B and c, moves backwards and forwards. 
The crosspiece F is for durability. The dotted circles near E indicate 
that there are two cavities underneath for the fingers to slide the board. 
When E is pushed back towards A, the Asparagus stems then rest on B 
and c, with the points towards A. 

make them more pliable for the purpose. When 
complete, a bundle of Asparagus measures from 
5 to 7 in. in diameter. Some growers, and pro- 
bably the most sensible ones, do not mix thick and 
thin shoots in the same bundle, but make them up 
separately after having graded them. In any case, 
the neater the bundles are made, and the fresher and 
more equal in size the individual shoots in them, the 
more likely are they to realise a ready sale ; whilst 
badly made bundles consisting of irregular shoots 


are likely to leave the grower a sadder if not wiser 

When one bears in mind that the best Asparagus 
fetches from 6s. to 155. per bundle in market in the 
season, there is every incentive to select only the 
best shoots, and pack them carefully. 

As the shoots do not retain their freshness beyond 
five or six days, they should be spread out on fresh- 
cut rye or other grass in a cool dark place free from 

" Asparagus Beetle " (Crioceris asparagi) often do 
much mischief to young Asparagus plants.. The 
beetles lay their eggs on the stalks, and in due course 
the young maggots feed upon the more tender portions, 
doing great damage to the growth. The beetles them- 
selves may be picked off by hand, or knocked from 
the stems by tapping with a stick, so that they are 
not allowed to lay their eggs. By syringing the 
plants once or twice a week from April to June with 
soft soap and quassia chip and nicotine solution, or 
any other well-known insecticide, they will be rendered 
distasteful to the pests, and these latter will be killed 
if they happen to be feeding at the time of spraying. 
Slugs and snails are also to be guarded against, as 
they eat the tender young shoots when pushing 
through the soil. They may be destroyed by dusting 
with lime and soot three or four mornings or evenings 
in succession and by keeping the beds cleared of any 
refuse in which they conceal themselves. 

The " Asparagus rust " (Puccinia Asparagi}, which 
sometimes attacks forced crowns when the temperature 
is irregular, rarely appears on properly grown open- 


air crops. As a preventive, the attacked shoots are 
detached and burnt ; and in the autumn when the 
stems have been cut down, but before removing the 
soil from the crowns, the beds are watered with a 
copper sulphate solution about I Ib. of sulphate 
of copper being used to 100 pints of water. 


Although Haricot Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) are 
not now grown so extensively, as a forced crop, by 
gardeners near Paris as they were formerly, it may 
be worth while describing the process. Being so easily 
grown in the open air during the summer months, it 
is obvious that unless a commercial gardener can 
produce his crops early in the year long before the 
open-air ones, he stands no chance whatever of being 
remunerated for his labour. 

Although there are now many varieties of Dwarf 
Beans, those suitable for early or forced crops are 
somewhat restricted. Amongst the best for the 
purpose are : Early Dwarf Frame Haricot (flageolet 
nain triomphe des chassis), which grows 6 to 7 in. 
high, is very early, and has green seeds. As it is 
rather fastidious, care must be taken not to keep 
the seeds too moist when germinating. The Early 
Black Belgian Haricot (H. noir hdtif de Belgique) is 
a black-seeded variety, next in earliness to the first 
named, and a much stronger grower requiring more 
space. The Early Chalandray (H. tres-hdtif de 
Chalandray) has yellow seeds ; the Early Dwarf 
Etampes (H. flageolet tres-hdtif d'Etampes), a strong 
grower, with white seeds ; and H. flageolet d feuilles 


cloquees may also be grown. Formerly the Dwarf Dutch 
Haricot (nain de Hollande) was a popular kind for 
early forcing, but has been superseded largely by 
those mentioned. One variety with yellow seeds I 
think likely to succeed in England is known as " Six 
Weeks." I have grown it in the open air in the 
usual way, and much to my astonishment I picked 
the first pod exactly six weeks after the seeds were 

CULTURE. About the middle of December a hot-bed 
varying from 12 to 24 in. in thickness is prepared, 
and on which a temperature of 65 to 70 Fahr. is 
maintained. A compost made up of two-thirds 
gritty loam and one-third old manure or leaf-soil is 
spread over the bed to a depth of 6 or 7 in. The 
seeds are then either sown where the plants are to 
develop, allowing sixteen or twenty-four plants to 
each light eventually ; or they may be sown in pots 
or pans in a hot-bed or greenhouse, from which they 
are afterwards to be transplanted. This operation 
takes place as soon as the seed-leaves are well 
developed, and is considered to be an advantage, 
because the plants do not grow so tall and yield a 
larger supply of pods. Each young Bean plant is 
buried up to the seed-leaves in the soil ; if this is 
inclined to dryness, a gentle watering must be given, 
and the lights must not be opened for a couple of 
days until growth has recommenced. Afterwards, air 
must be given on all fine days to keep the plants green 
and sturdy. Protection from frost is secured by 
covering with mats at night-time, the same being 
removed at the earliest moment each morning. In 
the event of severe weather, the frames must be 


banked up or " lined " with manure, more or less 
fresh, to maintain the requisite temperature within. 

When the plants touch the glass they may be 
bent gently towards the top of the frame, and kept 
in that position by thin bamboo or other sticks placed 
across them. Apart from this, the frames may also 
be raised a little on pots or bricks, taking care, how- 
ever, that the linings are made up well to prevent 
the cold outside air from entering at the base. 

By this method of cultivation somewhat costly 
and tedious apparently the first pods may be picked 
six, eight, or ten weeks after the seed has been sown. 
As the season advances, succession crops will appear 
more quickly. The pods should be picked regularly 
and systematically before they get too old, as this 
is the only way to induce the plants to continue to 
yield for a long time. After March it is not worth while 
growing Dwarf Beans on hot-beds in this way, as the 
crops for the open air are being prepared. 

Both " dwarf " and " runner " Beans have long 
been grown in greenhouses in England during the 
earlier months of the year the plants being either 
in pots, or placed in beds. A temperature of 65 to 
75 Fahr. must be maintained, and care must be 
taken to keep the atmosphere just in the right state 
of humidity not too saturated on the one hand, or 
too dry on the other. 

CLOCHE CULTURE. Early crops in the open air may 
be secured by sowing seeds in gentle heat in April, 
afterwards transferring the plants to the open air 
when the seed-leaves are developed, placing three 
plants under every cloche. No air is given for a 
few days, to give the plants a fresh start, but after- 


wards as much as possible is given, until at length 
the cloches are taken off altogether when there is 
no longer any fear of frost. For good early Beans 
as much as gd. and is. per Ib. is often realised in 

To have Dwarf Beans from October onwards, seeds 
may be sown in the open air on warm sunny borders. 
A sharp eye, however, must be kept on the early 
frosts in September and October. To guard against 
them, a light trellis of sticks should be made, and 
placed over the plants. At night-time, mats may 
be spread over the trellis to protect the plants from 


Nice Cabbages in the early spring are always highly 
appreciated, and when in market early are almost 
sure to command good prices. Amongst the best 



varieties for the purpose, mention may be made of 
the large and small forms of " Ox Heart," or Cceur 
de Bceuf, (fig. 19) and " Early York." There are several 



varieties of " Ox-Heart " Cabbages, one particularly 
early being called Pomme de Paris. 

Other good sorts are "Express" (fig. 20), "Very 
Early Etampes " (fig. 21), and " St. Denis." 

About the end of August, or early in September, 
seeds are sown, and 
these dates are very 
strictly adhered to. 
If sown much earlier 
or later the plants 
afterwards are in- 
clined to run to seed 
instead of forming 
heads. About the 
end of September the 
young plants are "_* 


ready for pricking 

out into beds, care being taken at the time to reject 

all blind, deformed, or diseased plants. 

During November, sometimes even at the end of 
October, the plants thus pricked out will be ready 
for final planting. The ground is deeply dug, well 
manured, and levelled in advance, and the young 
plants have the stems buried until the lower leaves 
rest on the surface of the soil. They are spaced out 
1 8 in. to 2 ft. apart in shallow furrows about a foot 

The soil in which the Cabbages are to mature should 
be deeply dug and well-manured, whether light or 
heavy in its nature. Parisian gardeners are particu- 
larly fond of night soil as a manure, especially for 
Cabbage crops ; but nearly all decayed vegetable 
refuse is also worked into the soil to enrich it in humus. 


In the case of light soils, however, the sowing and 
final planting may be done a week or even a fortnight 
later than in the case of soils that are naturally inclined 
to be heavy or chalky. 

From the same batch of seedlings it is possible to 
arrange for two distinct crops. This is done by 
placing some of the plants on warm and sheltered 
borders that have been deeply dug and well manured, 
as already described. Furrows 4 to 5 in. deep 
are drawn, and into these the Cabbages are planted. 
The soil thus drawn up in little ridges on each side 
of the shallow furrow serves to protect the " collar " 
of the young plant during the winter months. In 
the course of time the soil from the ridges gradually 
crumbles down, and, coming in contact with the 
plants, keeps them warmer than would otherwise 
be the case with plants on a perfectly level piece of 

The distance between the rows for winter planting 

varies according to 
the nature of the soil 
and the growth of 
the varieties planted. 
For the " York " 
Cabbages and 
" Early Express " 
varieties, the rows 

FIG. 22. PARIS MARKET OX-HEART may be about 12 in. 

CABBAGE. T , -, . , 

apart. In these the 

plants should be 15 to 18 in. apart. For the larger- 
growing varieties, however, such as the " Large Ox 
Heart," " Large York," " St. Denis/' and " Market 
Ox Heart " (moyen de la Halle) (fig. 22), the rows may 


be 1 6 or 18 in. apart and the plants in them 16 to 
20 in. asunder. 

Planting, of course, is done in mild weather, many 
growers preferring to use the trowel for the purpose 
instead of the dibber. If possible a good watering 
is also given after planting to settle the soil nicely 
round the roots of each plant. 

In cold or bleak localities the soil on the south side 
of the rows is drawn up carefully to the lower leaves 
of the plants, thus making a protecting bank so that 
the plants shall not suffer from quick thawings after 
a severe frost, or from the effects of a fall of snow. 
Some growers even go to the trouble during very 
severe frosts to cover their Cabbages with litter, or 
the straw from a manure heap, bracken, or anything 
else that is light and handy. Short dry manure may 
also be worked in between the rows, as still further 
protection against severe frosts and subsequent 

During the spring months the plants are hoed well, 
and at the same time the mould is drawn up carefully 
about the stems. This not only serves as a protection 
for the plants, but it also helps them to resist strong 
winds and at the same time encourages the development 
of still more roots from the joints. From March 
onwards, if the weather is at all genial, a good watering 
now and then will be beneficial if the rains have not 
already made the soil sufficiently damp. When the 
plants are well-established, a little nitrate of soda 
about I Ib. to every 40 square yards may be sprinkled 
over the soil, and afterwards worked in with the hoe. 

Cabbages grown in the way described commence 
to turn in on the warm, sheltered borders during April 


and early in May, and are followed by the others 
grown in the open ground. 

Some growers, when they see the earlier Cabbages 
beginning to heart, gently raise the large outer leaves 
upwards to the top, and tie them round the centre with 
a piece of raffia or rye grass. This makes the hearts 
eventually more tender and of a better flavour, while 
it accelerates hearting up. It is also an advantage 
to have the Cabbages thus tied up when one comes 
to pack them for market. 

EARLY SUMMER CABBAGES. For a supply of Cab- 


bages during the summer months an early variety called 
" Plat de Paris " (fig. 23) is much favoured. It is so 
short stemmed that the large, flat heads appear to sit 
on the ground. Seeds of this variety are sown under 
cloches or in a gentle hot-bed about the middle of 
February, and are afterwards pricked out in nice soil 
at the rate of 400 plants to a light, or 30 under a cloche, 
when the seed-leaves are well developed. A little air 
is given when they have recovered, to keep them 
sturdy. Early in April these young Cabbages will be 
ready for the open air, and may be planted by them- 


selves or between rows of Lettuces that are to be 
cut in May. After the Lettuces are taken off, the soil 
is hoed well, and if inclined to be dry, a good soaking 
of water is given occasionally. These Cabbages are 
ready by the middle of June. 


The Cardoon (Cynara Cardunculus) is a perennial 
composite, native of Southern Europe. It grows from 
4 to 6 ft. high or more, and has large pinnate leaves, 
grey-green on the upper surface and almost white 
beneath. In many varieties there is a yellow or brown 
spine, often over \ in. long, in the angle of each 
division of the leaves. The fleshy leaf-stalks, when 
blanched, form the eatable portion of the plant, as 
well as the thick, fleshy main roots. 

In many French gardens the Cardoon is an important 
crop. There are several varieties grown, such as the 
" Prickly Tours," " Ivory-white," " Spanish," and 
" Artichoke-leaved " or " Puvis," etc. Of these the 
first-named" Prickly Tours "is most highly appre- 
ciated by the market-gardeners of Tours and Paris, 
notwithstanding the fact that it is more spiny than 
any other kind. It is, however, also the hardiest and 
keeps better than the others, although all are susceptible 
to frost. 

Cardoons are always raised from seeds, never from 
suckers. These are usually sown out-of-doors in May, 
in holes or pockets filled with rich gritty mould three 
or four seeds being placed in each pocket. Or seeds 
may be sown in the latter half of April on a hot-bed 
with a temperature of 65 to 70 Fahr. The seedlings 



appear in about 10 days on the hot-bed, those in the 
open air taking from 15 to 18 days to germinate in 

When the young plants in the hot-bed have developed 
their seed-leaves, they are potted up singly into small 
pots and plunged in the hot-bed again. They are 
lightly sprinkled and kept rather close for some time, 
and are generally ready for planting in the open air 
about the middle of May, or a little later according 
to the weather. 

In the case of the plants raised in the open air, when 
the seedlings are well developed all but the best one 
in each little hole are destroyed. 

Whether the plants are raised in hot-beds or in the 
open air, it is essential to have them in rows at least 
4 ft., but if possible 5 ft. apart. In all cases the 
young plants are placed in holes or trenches about a 
foot deep. The soil should be deeply dug and heavily 
manured in advance, the finest leaves being obtained 
on a sandy or chalky clay. 

As the plants grow slowly at first the space between 
them may be utilised for raising such quick crops as 
Radishes, Carrots, Lettuces, Dwarf Beans, Spinach, 
early Cabbages, etc. The soil in the meantime is kept 
perfectly clean with the frequent use of the hoe, while 
the Cardoons are supplied with an abundance of water 
during the summer months. 

BLANCHING. This is essential. The leaf -stalks are 
tied up in two or three places according to length, in 
the same way as Celery, bearing in mind that the 
fierce and sharp spines on the leaves are capable of 
causing some trouble. To avoid being pricked with 
the spines, a strong stake, with a piece of stout string 


attached, is driven into the ground near the plant. 
The string is then wound round and round the plant, 
pulling the spiny leaves together into a bundle ; or, 
" three sticks are used, one of them short, and 
connected with the other two by strong twine. The 
workman, standing at a safe distance, pushes the two 
handles under the plant, and then going to the 
other side and seizing them, soon gathers up the 
prickly leaves. Another workman then ties it up in 
three places, and straw is placed round and tied so 
as quite to exclude the light. In three weeks the 
vegetable is as well blanched and as tender as could 
be desired. To blanch the Cardoon properly and 
render the leaves perfectly tender, it should be de- 
prived of light and air for at least three weeks. It is 
then cut just below the surface of the earth, and 
divested of its straw covering ; the withered leaves 
are sliced off and the root trimmed up neatly " 
(Robinson) . 

This work is done during October. If it is desired 
to preserve Cardoons, the stems are tied up as described, 
the entire plant is taken up carefully with a ball of 
soil round the roots, and is plunged in well-decayed 
manure or leaf mould in a dark cellar free from frost. 


The Carrot (Daucus Carota) is brought to great 
perfection in French gardens, and vast quantities of 
juicy, tender roots are grown year after year. The 
smaller-rooted varieties are preferred especially by 
intensive growers, as they are easily forced, are far 
superior to the larger kinds, and find a more ready 


sale not only in the central markets of Paris, but also 
in Covent Garden and other English markets. 
The kinds chiefly grown are 

I. Paris Forcing Carrot (syn. " Carotte rouge d 
forcer Parisienne "). This is a comparatively new 
variety, considered to be somewhat earlier than the 
" French Forcing " or " Early Forcing Horn Carrot." 
The roots are somewhat similar in shape, but the skin 

is of a deep 
orange -red 
colour. It is 
highly recom- 
mended for 

2. The French 
Forcing or Early 
Forcing Horn 
Carrot (syns. : 


" C. grelot," " C. Toupie," fig. 24). This is the smallest 
and one of the earliest Carrots grown in hot-beds. 
The roots are almost round, ij to 2 in. in diameter, 
suddenly narrowed into a long slender thread-like 
extremity. When forced in hot-beds the skin is 
generally pale or straw-yellow in colour ; but it as- 
sumes a scarlet tint when grown in the open air. The 
roots are very tender and of excellent flavour. 

3. Scarlet Horn Carrot or Dutch Horn Carrot (syns. : 
" Carotte rouge courte hdtive," " C. rouge courte d'Hol- 
lande," " C. Bellot," fig. 25). This excellent and 
tender variety is usually grown as a first-early crop 
in the open air. The roots are about 3 in. long, 



and between i and 2 in. thick, the skin being 
deep scarlet, while the shape is cylindrical or long 
top-shaped, abruptly ending in a thread-like rootlet. 
It may be grown in hot-beds in the same way as French 
Forcing Carrot, but does not mature so quickly. 
4. Half-long Scarlet Carentan. This is an early 



and finely coloured Carrot, excellent for later forced 
crops or for first crops in the open. The roots are 
narrowly cylindrical, suddenly ending in a thread-like 
tail (fig. 26). 

5. Half- long Nantes Scarlet Carrot (syns. : " Carotte 
rouge demi-longue nantaise," " Carotte sans cceur "). 
This tender and fine-flavoured Carrot is good for 
early crops in the open air, but is scarcely profitable 
enough for forcing. The roots are bluntly cylindrical 




in shape, 4 in. or so long, and between ij to 2 in. 
thick, with a deep red skin. It has very little core 
or heart, hence one of the French names, " sans 
cceur" (fig. 27). 

There are many other varieties of Carrots, but as 
they are chiefly for open-air culture they need no 

special mention here. 
Seeds of Paris Forc- 
ing or Early Forcing 
Horn are sown for 
the first crop during 
October, on finely 
prepared mould 
about 6 in. deep on 
the surface of the 
mild hot-bed. After 
sowing the seeds and 
slightly covering 
them with soil, they 
should be gently 
beaten down with a piece of flat board. Very often, 
if not always indeed, Radishes are sown at the same 
time, but before the Carrots and a little deeper. Ger- 
mination takes place in about a fortnight, and from 
this time onwards air is given on all occasions when 
the weather is favourable, if only for half an hour 
or so each day. This prevents etiolation or yellowing, 
and encourages the proper development of the leaves 
and roots. 

In November, and again in December, sowings of 
the same varieties may be made on hot-beds about 
18 in. thick, coated with fine mould to a depth of 



6 in., and with a temperature ranging from 65 to 
80 Fahr. At this period the seeds are sown rather 
thickly, about 3 oz. to 100 square yards. The 
mould covering the manure is mostly humus from 
old hot-beds ; it gives the skins of the Carrots a much 
brighter colour and a more tender flavour than can 
be obtained from ordinary garden soil. 

Over Carrot seed Radishes may be also sown ; and 
from 30 to 36 Black Gotte Cabbage Lettuces may be 
planted over them in each light. These Lettuces will 
be fit to cut in January. As the Radishes develop 
quickly they are gathered before any damage is likely 
to be done either to the Carrots or the Lettuces the 
latter of course being mature long before the Carrots 
which will not be ready until early in April. A 
reference to the chapters on Cauliflowers, Radishes, 
Lettuces, etc., will show that Carrots are nearly always 
covered in the early stages with crops of a different 
character usually just after the seed has been sown. 

During growth attention must be given to watering, 
taking care that the beds are never allowed to become 
too dry. By keeping the manure in the pathways 
well moistened, there is no need to water the beds in 
the early stages, as sufficient moisture is absorbed by 
capillary attraction (see p. 15). 

If the weather is very severe and frosty, hot manure 
must be placed between and around the frames to 
maintain the requisite temperature within. In mild 
weather, of course, less manure will be required between 
the frames than in cold weather. 

Towards the end of March, if the weather is 
considered mild enough, the frames are taken off the 
Carrots and placed over other crops such as 


Melons ; but then the Carrots will not mature quite so 

During February and March, seeds of " Scarlet 
Horn " or " Half-long Nantes Scarlet " Carrots may 
be sown on open beds, without the protection of 
lights. Straw mats will afford sufficient protection 
from frost for these sowings. To keep the mats off 
the Carrots, two rails are fixed on stakes driven into 
the bed on each side. These Carrots succeed those 
from the earlier sowings, and fill in the gap between 
those sown in the open ground. 

After the Carrots sown in February and March 
have been gathered, Radishes are sown on the same 
beds ; and when the Radishes have been pulled, 
their place may be taken with Celeriac (Turnip-rooted 
Celery) or some other crop. 

THINNING CARROTS. It is essential to thin out 
Carrots when they are 2 or 3 in. high, otherwise they 
would choke each other in time. The weakest seedlings 
are pulled up by hand, and about 3 in. of space 
is left between the first crops in frames, and one or 
two inches more between the out-door crops. 


The Cauliflower (Brassica oleracea Botrytis cauli- 
flora) is an important and often a lucrative crop to 
the intensive cultivator. Amongst the Cauliflowers 
proper (as distinguished from the hardier white-headed 
Broccoli) three sections are generally recognised, viz. 
the tender, the half-hardy, and the hardy the varieties 
of which follow each other in natural succession. 
They may also be described as " early/' " second 


early " or " mid-season," and " late/' From the 
intensive cultivator's point of view the tender and 
half-hardy varieties are most valuable, as they come 
to maturity at a season when prices are generally 
high, and when the produce itself is most appreciated. 

EARLY CROPS or " PRIMEURS." Amongst the 
" tender " Cauliflowers the following varieties are 
considered best for 
" primeurs " or early 
crops, viz. : 

1. Express, con- 
sidered to be the 
earliest Cauliflower of 
all, with short stems. 

2. D w ar f Ear ly 
Erfurt (nain hdtif 
d' Erfurt), a very early 
variety well suited for 
frame culture (fig. 28). 

3. Early Paris (tendre 

de Paris or Petit Salomon), a good variety for spring 

4. Early Snowball (Boule de neige), one of the 
best for frames, especially in favoured localities. 

SECOND EARLY CROPS. The varieties of Cauliflower 
best suited to follow the above are 

1. Lenormand, short-stalked, a fine summer Cauli- 
flower highly favoured by Parisian market-gardeners. 
It has a very short stem, large firm head of great 
purity, and keeps a long time (fig. 29). 

2. Second Early Paris (Demi-dur de Paris, or Gros 
Salomon). This variety is highly esteemed for spring 



and early summer crops, on account of its large 
beautiful white heads (fig. 30). 

LATE OR OPEN-AIR CROPS. There are several 
varieties adapted for this purpose, being characterised 
by their large leaves, sturdy stems, and large heads 
produced late in the summer or during autumn. 
Amongst the best-known kinds are 

i. Autumn Giant, with very large firm heads. If 


sown iii February or March it comes into use in October 
and November. 

2. Walcheren, a well-known variety with large 
white heads. It is very hardy and is best sown 
about April to produce heads in autumn and winter. 

3. Early London or Early Dutch, a hardy variety 
much grown in Holland, but well adapted for English 
gardens. The heads are not particularly large, but 
they are hard and firm 


ist and before September 20, seeds of early kinds 
like "Express," "Dwarf Early Erfurt," "Early 
Snowball " or " Early Paris " should be sown on an 
old hot-bed, or even on open ground that has been 
deeply dug and levelled, and afterwards covered with 
a good layer of rich gritty mould. Seeds may also 


be sown at the same period, if the weather is un- 
favourable, under cloches or lights. In all cases the 
seeds should be lightly covered with gritty soil, and 
the seed-bed should be gently beaten down with the 
back of the spade or a piece of flat board, afterwards 
giving it a gentle watering through a fine-rosed can ; 
and the seed-bed must be kept in a moist condition 
afterwards otherwise the germinating seeds may 
suffer considerably. 


When the seeds are sown under cloches or lights, 
air must be given more or less freely, according to 
the state of the weather, when the young plants are 
well through the soil. This will keep them strong 
and sturdy, otherwise they are apt to become weak 
and lanky. 

Pricking out and Transplanting. When the seedlings 
have made two leaves beyond the seed-leaves or 
cotyledons, they are ready for pricking out. This 
is done under lights or cloches, under which they are 
kept until ready for the final planting. 

Some growers transfer the young Cauliflowers 
direct from the seed-bed to the ground on which 
the plants are to mature, and do not go to the trouble 
of moving them twice. But in this case they sow the 
seeds thinly, so that the young plants may not be 
too close, and may thus remain longer in the seed-bed 
if necessary. 

Having marked out as much ground as is necessary, 
it is dug and prepared for the reception of the frames, 
which are to slope towards the south. The interior 
is filled up within 6 in. of the top with fine rich 
mould evenly spread over the surface and gently 
trodden down for the reception of the young plants. 
These should be well watered an hour or two previous 
to lifting, so as to have a good ball of soil to the roots. 
They are best taken up with a spade, great care being 
taken when separating the plants to retain as much 
soil as possible round the roots of each. The planting 
is done either with the finger or a small dibber, taking 
care to bury the young plants up to the seed-leaves, 
as this encourages adventitious roots to spring from 
the stems beneath the surface of the soil. About 


3 to 4 in. space is left between each plant ; in other 
words, from 150 to 220 plants are placed under each 

The planting finished, a nice sprinkling is given over- 
head, and the outside air is shut out for a few days 
until the plants pick up again. After this, air must 
be given on all fine days by tilting the lights with a 
piece of wood, brick, or flower-pot whichever happens 
to be most convenient. 

Cloches. When Cauliflowers are pricked out under 
cloches, raised sloping beds (see fig. i) wide enough 
to accommodate three rows of glasses, are prepared 
and covered with fine rich mould. An impression of 
the cloches having been made on the surface by 
pressing down in the required spots, nineteen plants 
are usually placed under each one. The treatment 
is then the same as under lights. 

It sometimes happens that the young plants under 
lights and cloches grow too quickly and would very 
soon stifle each other if not moved. Other beds for 
lights and cloches must then be prepared as in the 
first case. The plants are carefully taken up and 
transferred to these new quarters, but naturally at 
a greater distance from each other than before so 
that each light holds only 80 to 140 plants, and each 
cloche about 14 instead of 19 as at first. This second 
pricking out retards the plants, and makes them 
generally hardier and more sturdy. It is also con- 
sidered to make the plants mature earlier and to 
develop smaller " heads." 

Protection. From November onwards the young 
Cauliflower plants must be protected from severe 
frosts by means of mats spread over the frames or 


cloches at night. These, however, must be taken 
off as early as possible every morning, and air must 
be given freely on all genial days. In very severe 
weather, not only are mats used, but manure is also 
heaped round the frames, and leaves or litter are 
placed round the cloches. 

When the temperature is so low that it is unsafe 
to take off the mats, or to give light and air to the 
plants, one must be careful not to uncover afterwards 
when the sun is too bright, nor yet to give too much 
air. It is better to avoid rapid changes in temperature, 
and to admit light and air carefully after a long period 
of darkness and a close atmosphere. 

Final Planting of First Crop. Early in December 
the hot-beds are made up, and a layer about 7 in. 
thick of rich sandy loam and leaf -mould, or old manure 
and sandy soil (three parts of manure to one of soil), 
is spread evenly over the surface. 

Before taking the young plants from the beds or 
cloches in which they were pricked out, they should 
be well watered. They are then easily lifted, each 
one with a nice ball of soil attached to the roots. 
The plants should be carefully examined, so that 
only clean healthy ones shall be planted. " Blind " 
plants that is, those in which the centre has been 
destroyed and has come malformed and any that 
are too coarse in growth, besides those affected with 
disease at the base, are to be discarded. Six Cauli- 
flowers are then planted under each light, three in 
a row at the top or north side, and three in a row 
at the bottom or south side. After planting, they 
are watered well and air is excluded for two or three 
days until they recover from the transplanting. 


Afterwards air must be given on all favourable occa- 
sions and watering must be given more and more 
freely as the plants increase in vigour and approach 
maturity. Later on, as the leaves begin to touch 
the glass, if the weather is mild enough the frames 
and lights are taken away and placed over other 
crops. If, owing to the weather, it is risky to shift 
the frames, they may be lifted by placing blocks of 
wood or bricks beneath the legs at the corners. In 
this way more head room will be given the plants. 

Early in March the heads begin to appear. To keep 
them perfectly white, as they increase in size one of 
the large leaves near the top is cracked at the base, 
and bent over the head. The exposure to light 
tends to make the heads yellowish in colour a fact 
which lowers their market value. 

-The heads are fit to cut from about March 20 
onwards and well into April, those which are just 
at the right stage being of course cut before the others. 

Early in January another batch of young Cauli- 
flowers from the same seed-bed may be planted ; 
and still another batch a fortnight later, in beds on 
which Carrots and Radishes have been sown, and 
upon which Cos and Cabbage Lettuces are growing. 
Under favourable conditions " heads " are often fit 
to cut about the end of April and during May. 

Intercropping. In December when the young Cauli- 
flowers six in each light are planted, there is much 
vacant space. This is often utilised for other crops, 
such as Cabbage Lettuces and Radishes. Seeds of 
the latter are sown and covered, and afterwards three 
rows of Gotte Lettuce are planted between the two 
rows of Cauliflowers. As the temperature of the 


frames at this period should be between 65 and 75 
Fahr., the Radishes germinate quickly and mature 
long before they interfere with the Lettuces. The 
latter also, being quicker in growth than the Cauli- 
flowers, will be fit to cut before the Cauliflowers will 
require more space. 

half of September seeds of a variety like " Lenormand " 
or " Second Early Paris " (Gros Salomon) may be sown in 
the same way as the first crops. When the young plants 
have developed two leaves beyond the seed-leaves, 
they are pricked out under lights, and grown on until 
large enough for the final transplanting in due course. 
This may take place in frames specially set apart for 
Cauliflowers, in which case Lettuces may be planted 
between, after another sowing of Radishes has been 
made in the way already mentioned. Or the young 
Cauliflowers may be planted amongst the Carrots in 
other frames, placing three plants on the north side and 
three on the south side in each frame with the Carrots 
in the centre. 

Cauliflowers may also be planted in the spaces 
between the cloches that are sheltering Cos and 
Cabbage Lettuces, as shown at p. 153 in the diagram 

(%. 4 i). 

Between the beginning of February and the middle 
of March, other batches of Cauliflowers from the 
autumn sowings may be planted on warm sunny 
beds or borders, upon which Carrots and Radishes 
have previously been sown. The Cauliflowers should 
be placed about 2\ ft. apart in rows 3 ft. apart, and 
should be " angled " that is, so as not to be opposite 
each other in the rows. At the same time a Cos 


(Romaine) Lettuce may be planted between each 
Cauliflower, and Cos Lettuces may also be planted 
between the rows. The margins of the beds or borders 
may then be planted with Cabbage Lettuces as shown 
in the annexed diagram, in which a * represents 
Cauliflowers, an o Cos Lettuces, and an x Cabbage 

























SUCCESSION CROPS. Seeds of the second-season 
varieties may be sown in February and March under 
similar conditions, or seedlings from the September 
sowing may be held over somewhat later than those 
that are to produce the second crop. The plants will 
be ready for planting in their final quarters in March 
or in April, when there is no longer need for artificial 
heat. Old beds may be used for these crops, or the 
young Cauliflowers (which should have been gradually 
hardened off in the frames) may be planted out on 
the warm, sheltered borders on which Cos and Cabbage 
Lettuces may have been already planted some time 
previously. These Cauliflowers will be ready at the 
end of May and during June and July. 

If another sowing is made about the end of April or 
early in May of the same varieties " Lenormand " and 
"Second Early Paris" (Gros Salomon) the young 
plants will be ready for the open ground early in June. 
The soil in which they are placed, about 2 ft. apart every 



way, should have been deeply dug and well enriched 
with manure in advance, if it is not already an old 
hot-bed. The plants must be kept watered well, and 
during August and September ought to yield fine 
heads. When first planted out in June, the ground 
between the Cauliflowers may be utilised for Cos or 
Cabbage Lettuces. 

LATE CAULIFLOWERS. To secure the latest Cauli- 
flowers, seeds of " Autumn Giant/' " Walcheren," or 
" Early London " may be sown at intervals from 
February and March to May or June in an old hot-bed 
or on a somewhat sheltered border. The last of the 
young plants, after pricking out in the usual way or 
even transferring direct from the seed-bed will be 
ready for final planting about July. They must be 
constantly watered to keep them growing steadily with 
soft and tender tissues. According to the period of 
sowing and the variety, the heads will come into use 
from August to October and November. 

Late Cauliflowers may be intercropped much in 
the same way as those preceding them. Fine- and 
broad-leaved Endives, Radishes, Spinach, or Corn 
Salad are recommended as suitable for the purpose. 

Covering the Heads. This is essential in open-air 
crops. When the heads are forming up nicely, one 
or two large healthy leaves may be cracked low down, 
and then bent over them to protect them from the 
sun. These coverings should be examined each day 
in case caterpillars attack the heads, and in showery 
weather a watch must be kept for slugs. Indeed, from 
start to finish Cauliflowers are beset by many insect 
foes, one of the worst being the Turnip Beetle (Haltica 
nemorum). By frequently watering the plants, how- 


ever, it may be kept in check. During early growth, 
if the plants are syringed occasionally with a little 
weak paraffin emulsion, the foliage will be rendered 
noxious to the various pests. About an egg-cupful of 
paraffin to three or four gallons of warm water, well 
mixed up with a little soft soap, will make a good 
solution. It should be applied in a fine spray morning 
or evening. 


The Celery (Apium graveolens) is a native biennial 
plant that has become of great garden value by selection 
and cultivation for centuries, and as a salad the leaf- 
stalks are highly esteemed. For intensive cultivation 
French gardeners favour a variety called " Chemin " 
or " Plein blanc dore," and known to us as " Paris 
Golden/' This has leaves and stems of a golden- 
yellow colour, and matures quickly. It is, however, 
somewhat susceptible to frosts, and therefore is more 
valued for early crops. Other forms of this Celery 
are known as " Plein blanc d'Amerique," or " White 
Plume/' and " Plein blanc a cotes roses," or " Pink 
Plume/' both of which are also much grown in 
France for early crops, owing to the fact that the 
stems blanch readily without being " earthed up " 
very much. 

From the end of January until about the middle of 
March seeds of the varieties mentioned may be sown 
on hot-beds having a temperature of 60 to 70 Fahr. 
To encourage rapid germination, frequent sprinklings 
are given, and when the young plants appear as much 
air as possible is given in accordance with the state 


of the weather, so that the plants may become sturdy. 
If the seedlings (from seeds sown in January) are too 
close together, they may be either " thinned out " or 
" pricked out," 3 to 4 in. apart, on an old hot-bed, 
when four or five leaves have developed. Seedlings 
from later growings in February and March may be 
pricked out when large enough in cold frames, under 
cloches, or even on warm south borders. 

In April, when the earlier crops of Turnips, Carrots, 
Radishes, etc., have been taken from the frames, the 
young Celery plants may take their places. They 
will then be about 5 or 6 in. high. The plants are 
placed opposite each other, and not " angled," about 
I ft. apart in rows a similar distance from each 
other. After planting, the soil should be well watered 
to settle it about the roots, and a little litter or dry 
manure may be spread over the surface of a soil likely 
to dry rapidly. During growth attention must be 
paid to weeding and hoeing, and plenty of water must 
be given as the weather becomes warmer and growth 
more vigorous. As soon as the plants are about 
1 8 in. high, they are ready for " blanching." If, 
however, the stems are more or less spreading, they 
should be tied together in one or two places, taking 
care, however, not to tie the tops too tightly, or the 
centres may be crippled and prevented from developing 
further. Plants from the earlier sowings will be ready 
for cutting about the end of July and during August ; 
while later sowings in April and May will produce plants 
for succession in autumn and winter. The green- 
stemmed varieties of Celery (verts) are best for winter 
use, owing to their hardiness ; while the blonds (sown 
in May) are recommended for autumn use, as they are 


easily blanched simply by spreading mats over them 
when nearly fully developed. 

Blanching Celery. This operation has the effect of 
excluding the light from the stems, which are thus 
rendered sweeter and more tender by the absence or 
non-development of the green colouring matter called 
chlorophyll. Different methods of blanching are 
adopted, but as the main object is the same in all 
cases, they differ only in details. 

To blanch the earliest crops of Celery, dry leaves, 
straw, moss, or clean litter is placed between the 
plants where they are growing. A slender, wooden 
frame is slid in between the rows of Celery first of all 
so as to keep the leaves up and close together. The 
light-excluding material is worked in between the rows 
until about two-thirds of the stems are hidden. The 
frame is then withdrawn and placed between other 
rows that are to be treated in a similar manner. About 
fifteen days after this operation the Celery stems will 
be sufficiently blanched ; in addition, mats are often 
thrown over the tops of the plants at the same time 
to hasten the process. 

Some growers, instead of placing straw or litter 
between the rows in the way described, make bands 
of the straw and then twist them round the Celery 
stalks from the base upwards for two-thirds of their 
length. This is an economical but less expeditious 
method of blanching. Other growers, again, use a 
kind of earthenware pipe 15 to 16 in. long, and about 
6 in. wide at the base, tapering to about 4 in. at 
the top. The Celery stems are brought together by 
twisting a piece of string round them spirally from 
the bottom upwards ; a pipe is then placed over 



each plant tied up thus, and the string is carefully 
unwound by pulling it through the upper hole in 
the pipe. 

Another method of blanching Celery is adopted for 
the second or autumn crops as follows. A trench, 
3 or 4 ft. wide, is dug out 12 to 15 in. deep, and 
of any required length, the soil being thrown up on 
both sides of the trench. The bottom is then broken 
up to ensure better drainage. The Celery plants are 
taken up, each with a ball of soil adhering to the roots. 
Each plant is " picked over " that is, any dead or 
yellow leaves or basal suckers are detached, and the 
stems are fastened with one or two raffia or rye-grass 
ties, to prevent the soil getting into the crowns or 
hearts of the plants. The latter are then planted in 
the trench about 6 in. apart, in rows 8 to 10 in. 
wide, the ball of soil being just covered over. After 
planting, a good watering is given to settle the soil, 
and if the weather is dry the watering is renewed a 
few times' so as to encourage the plants to become 
established quickly in their new quarters, which 
generally takes a week or ten days according to cir- 

The blanching, or " earthing up," is then done 
either in one operation or in two. If the former, the 
Celery stems are certainly whiter but not so firm and 
crisp as when the work is done on two separate oc- 
casions ; and the latter is recommended. The finely 
prepared soil is worked in between the rows of plants 
in the trenches, and the operation is facilitated by 
using a frame to hold the leaves up as described for 
blanching the early crops. About 6 in. of soil is 
worked in between the plants on the first occasion, 


and about a fortnight afterwards the operation is 
again performed. This time, however, the space 
between the rows is filled up with soil so that the 
stems are completely buried except for the leaves 
at the top. These stick out 5 or 6 in. above the 
soil, and as long as growth continues they carry on 
the work of assimilation. When danger from frost 
is feared the plants are covered with straw or litter, 
or mats, for protection at night, taking care, however, 
to uncover them as early as possible in the morning. 
About three or four weeks after the final earthing up 
the Celery will be fit for use, and will keep in good 
condition in the trenches until the end of February. 

A third method of blanching Celery where it is grown 
is practised in the neighbourhoods of Meaux and 
Viroflay. Celery is planted in every other bed, and 
in the intervening spaces crops of Lettuces, Endive, 
Chicory, or some other vegetable are grown during 
the summer months. They must, however, be taken 
off the ground by September, as the soil on which they 
have been growing will then be required to " earth up " 
the Celery on each side. The work is best done on 
two occasions, with an interval of about a fortnight 
between ; the stems are then firmer and of a better 
flavour than if earthed up completely at one operation. 

The English method of growing Celery is also 
adopted in some places. Trenches about a yard wide 
and 6 to 12 in. deep are prepared. In May or June 
two rows of Celery are planted in each trench. In 
due course the plants are " earthed up " by having 
the soil from the sides of the trench brought up to 
the stems in the course of two or three different opera- 
tions. If necessary the stems are tied up, and any 


dead or yellow leaves are picked off the plants before 
the work begins. 

Diseases. The worst disease of Celery is caused by 
the Celery Fly (Tephritis Onopordinis), the maggots of 
which enter the tissues of the leaves and destroy them, 
causing unsightly blotches. The best way to check 
the pest is to syringe the healthy young plants fre- 
quently with the paraffin emulsion wash mentioned 
above under Cauliflowers (see p. 115). 


Celeriac (Apium graveolens rapacea) is known in 
French gardens as " Celeri rave " (fig. 31), and differs 

from the ordinary 
Celery in having 
swollen stems. 
These are cut up into 
slices and used in 
salads, and for 
flavouring soups, etc. 
For early crops seeds 
are sown at the end 
of February or early 
in March. The 
young plants will be 
ready for pricking 
out in April, either 
on an old hot-bed 
or on a warm south border, allowing 3 or 4 in. 
between them every way. Three or four weeks 
later, the young Celeriacs may be pricked out again 
in similar situations, this time about 6 in. apart. 



Final planting takes place about the end of May, in 
the open air or in open beds, the plants being 12 to 
14 in. apart and " angled " (i.e. planted quincuncially) 
in the rows. Sometimes they are grown between 
Lettuces or Cauliflowers, but this is not advisable. A 
succession may be kept up by making a second sowing 
in May, and planting out in due course after the 
seedlings have been pricked out twice, as already 

During growth weeds should be kept down by the 
hoe, and when the plants are about half-grown copious 
waterings may be given, especially during dry seasons. 

To hasten the swelling of the stem in autumn, the 
lower leaves are removed as soon as they begin to look 
yellowish. When mature, the swollen stems freed 
from leaves and roots may be stored in dry, airy 
cellars, etc., where they will be free from frost. 

Celeriac is now becoming better known in England, 
and it deserves attention on the part of market growers. 


Under these names, plants of Cichorium Intybus are 
largely grown for salading. To raise the plants, seeds 
may be sown in shallow drills in the open air in March 
or April, and if the green leaves only are used for 
salads, the seedlings need not be thinned out. The 
leaves are cut off close to the ground several times 
during the year when required. 

When " Barbe de Capucin " is wanted, seeds are 
sown in the same way and at the same time. The 
seedlings, however, are thinned out about 6 in. apart. 



About October the long thick roots are taken up, and 
are placed in close dark cellars or frames, with a little 
soil over them. Market growers place the roots up- 
right on a hot-bed side by side, after clearing off the 
old leaves. They are covered with about a foot of 
gritty soil. In about three weeks' time, long narrow 
leaves, 10 to 12 in. long, are produced in the dark, 
and, being beautifully blanched, form 
an excellent salad. When leaves 
cease to develop, the roots are taken 
out, and replaced with fresh ones 
from time to time during the winter 
months. The soil is watered occa- 
sionally if inclined to be dry. 

Another form of Chicory is that 
known as " Witloof " (i.e. white leaf) 
or "Brussels Chicory" (fig. 32). It 
has thicker roots, and larger and 
wider leaves than the Barbe de 
Capucin. The roots are lifted about 
the end of October, and onwards 
during the winter, in the way already 
described. The old leaves are taken 
off, and trimmed within ij in. of 
the top of the root, and any side 
roots are also suppressed. The main roots are then 
shortened to 8 or 10 in. in length. A trench, about 
18 in. deep and 4 ft. or more wide, is then made, 
and afterwards filled up with light, rich, gritty soil. 
In this the roots are planted, so that the crowns are 
about 8 or 10 in. below the surface. To secure quick 
growth, about i ft. of hot manure is then spread over 
the bed, and about a month afterwards beautiful pale 




yellowish heads of excellent flavour are produced. 
The heads are gathered before the tips reach the 
manure when within i in. or so from it, in fact 
otherwise they would become discoloured and spoiled. 
A little raffia may be tied round the tops to keep the 
blanched leaves together. Witloof is eaten in a raw 
or cooked state. 


This native annual (V alerianella olitoria) is becoming 
more and more highly esteemed as a salad in England 
each year, but it has long been common in France. 


The Round-leaved variety (" Ronde ") is the one most 
highly favoured by the Parisian market-gardeners 
( n g- 33) but there are several others, perhaps the best 
being the large-leaved Italian Corn Salad, or Regence. 
About the end of July or early in August seeds 
for the first crop are sown " broadcast," and then at 


intervals of three or four weeks until the end of October 
at the rate of about 3 or 4 oz. to 120 square yards. 
Before sowing, of course, the ground is lightly dug, 
trodden down again, and nicely levelled. After the 
seeds are sown, the surface is raked over, and some 
growers also add a light sprinkling of finely sifted 
mould. If the weather is very dry, a good watering 
will hasten germination, and is indeed essential to 
avoid failure altogether. 

Many growers sow seeds of Chervil or Radishes at 
the same time as the Corn Salad, as one does not 
interfere with the other. Others, again, sow Corn 
Salad among such crops as Chicory, Endive, Cauli- 
flowers, and Cabbages. 

By sowing the Italian Corn Salad, or Regence, in 
October, either by itself or with the Round-leaved, 
a good succession will be kept up during the winter 
months, if mild. 


The long- fruited green Cucumbers (Cucumis sativus) , 
as seen in England, are cultivated also by the Parisian 
market-gardeners, and much in the same way as in 
our glass-houses. In addition to these, however, 
" White " Cucumbers and small Prickly Cucumbers, 
or " Cornichons," are more or less extensively grown. 

The first early crops of long- fruited Cucumbers can 
only be brought to perfection under glass during the 
early months of the year, and although they may 
realise a good price, it must not be forgotten that a 
great deal of the profit is eaten up by the high price 
of the coke or coal used in heating the boilers. 


Frame Culture. In the first half of February, and 
again a month later in the first half of March, 
Cucumber seeds may be sown on a gentle hot-bed, 
with a temperature of 60 to 65 Fahr., placing the 
seeds either in rows in the soil covering the bed, or 
in pots, or " pockets " (i.e. small holes made in the 
surface). A gentle watering is given, air is excluded, 
and mats are put on the lights at night for protection. 

About ten or twelve days after sowing, when the 
seed leaves and first true leaves are well developed, 
the young Cucumber plants will be ready for moving 
into another bed with a similar temperature, allowing 
about 3 in. between each. The plants are sprinkled 
overhead, as before, with tepid water, no air is given 
for a few days, and shading is given from the sun. 
In a few days growth recommences, and the lights are 
tilted a little more and more each day, so that the air 
may harden the young plants and keep them sturdy. 
Towards evening, of course, " air is taken off " that 
is, the lights are closed, and mats are spread over 
them in case of frost. 

While the pricked- out plants are growing on, another 
hot-bed, 18 in. or 2 ft. thick, should be prepared for 
those that are fit for moving about the second week 
in March. From 6 to 8 in. of rich mould is spread 
over the surface of the bed, and when the rank steam 
has passed away, and the heat has subsided to about 
70 or 65 Fahr., the bed will be ready for planting. 
Each little Cucumber is then carefully lifted, with a 
ball of soil adhering to the roots, and by means of a 
trowel, or even by hand, it is planted in the new frame 
up to the seed-leaves. Four Cucumbers are placed 
under each light, and when planting is finished tepid 


water is sprinkled over the plants before closing up 
the lights. No air is given for two or three days, so 
as to encourage the plants to " pick up " again quickly, 
and strong sunlight is also excluded for a few days 
for the same reason. Nor must covering up with mats 
at night be forgotten. Once growth has started, air 
is given on all fine days, and a sprinkling with tepid 
water is given in the morning and afternoon to en- 
courage active growth. 

When four or five leaves are borne on the main stem, 
the latter is pinched off i or 2 in. above the second 
leaf. This will cause two side branches to develop 
in due course. Before this takes place, however, a 
layer of straw or clean litter is spread over the surface 
of the bed. When the side branches are about i ft. 
long, these are also shortened back a little, in front 
of the second or third leaf. A third set of shoots will 
then commence to develop from these, and when they 
are about i ft. long, they must also be shortened back 
to the second or third leaf in the same way. 

As soon as the young fruits have commenced to 
swell, the best and most shapely one is selected, and 
the shoot carrying it is pinched or shortened back to 
two leaves beyond the fruits. All others are sup 
pressed. When this first fruit has grown about two- 
thirds of its natural size, a second fruit is chosen in 
the same way as the first, and when this attains 
two-thirds of its growth a third fruit is selected to 
keep up the succession ; and so on with other fruits, 
so that each plant may develop a dozen or more one 
after the other. All long shoots are then pinched 
back from time to time. 

Watering, of course, must be attended to each day 


if necessary, taking care to use water having the same 
temperature as that in the frame. If very cold water 
is used, the plants are likely to be chilled and stopped 
in growth. Air is given by " tilting " the frames on 
all fine days until the afternoon, when the lights should 
be closed to keep in the warmth during the night. 

Cucumbers grown in this way, from seeds sown in 
February, are fit for cutting in April ; in May and 
June from seeds sown a month or so later. 

Cucumbers under Cloches. Seeds may be sown in 
the first half of April in gentle hot-beds in the way 
already described, afterwards placing the young 
plants out in frames, and keeping them close and 
shaded for two or three days, until they start again 
into growth. Towards the end of April trenches and 
holes, each about 2 ft. wide, i ft. deep, and about 
2^ ft. apart, are made in a straight line on a warm 
sheltered border. These holes or trenches are filled 
with good manure to make a little hot-bed about 
1 8 in. deep. The soil taken out is then spread over 
the heaps of manure in a layer about 8 in. thick, and 
a basin is made on top of each to accommodate a few 
handfuls of rich mould. When the rank heat has 
subsided, a young Cucumber plant is placed in the 
centre of each heap up to the seed-leaves, taking care 
beforehand to lift each plant with a nice ball of soil 
round the roots. The plants are watered well to 
settle the soil round them, after which each one is 
covered with a cloche, the upper two-thirds of which 
has been smeared with liquid whiting, lime, or clay, 
to serve as a shading against the sun. For three or 
four days the cloches are kept shut down on the soil, 
to encourage new growth. After this, however, the 


plants are ventilated on all fine days by raising the 
cloches one, two, or three notches on the " tilts " 
in the way shown at p. 42. At night-time it may be 
necessary to cover the cloches with mats for protection 
against frost. When the plants have commenced to 
grow freely, the main shoot at first, and the others 
afterwards, must be pinched or shortened back in 
the same way as recommended for the plants grown 
under lights in frames, the only difference being that 
the shoots are left somewhat longer. The plants are 
watered well when necessary, and the cloches are 
taken off the plants altogether on fine days, replacing 
them towards evening. In due course the shoots 
will extend beyond the circumference of the cloches, 
and the latter may then be placed on three tilts to 
allow the shoots to spread naturally while protecting 
the main portion of the plant. As the weather is 
usually fine by the time the plants reach this stage, 
there is little danger from frosts, and the first fruits 
from Cucumbers grown in this way will be ready from 
the middle of June and onwards till the end of August. 
Open-air Culture. Cucumbers grown in the open 
air are generally raised from seeds sown in April in 
gentle hot-beds, afterwards transplanting in the way 
described about the end of May on little hot-beds for 
each plant. Seeds are often sown in such beds in May, 
and the plants from them are allowed to grow on 
without being disturbed. In the early stages it is 
wise to cover the plants with cloches until they are 
well established. While developing their growth, the 
vacant soil between the plants and along the margins 
of the beds may be utilised for a " catch crop " of 
Lettuces or Radishes. " White-fruited " Cucumbers, 


although practically unknown in British gardens, 
form a marketable crop in Paris. From inquiries 
made in the " Halles," as the Covent Garden of Paris 
is called, I was told that " White " Cucumbers were 
not grown anything like so extensively as the long 
green-fruited varieties although the quantity grown 
found a ready sale. The fruits are somewhat similar 
in shape to the green ones, and at first are of the same 
colour. In the course of time, however, they pass 
from green to greenish-yellow, and ultimately to a 
kind of waxy or creamy white. 

The raising, planting, and general cultivation is 
precisely the same as already described for the green 

green Cucumbers chiefly used in pickles in England 
are extensively grown in the neighbourhood of Paris, 
and large quantities of them may be seen in the 
Paris markets during the summer months. These 
little Cucumbers must not be confounded with the 
small stunted fruits of the ordinary long green Cu- 
cumber. They are obtained from a special variety 
called " Cornichon vert petit de Paris." This is strong 
and hardy, and easily grown. The seeds are generally 
sown in gentle hot-beds early in May. In due course 
the young plants are pricked out in frames, and by 
the end of May or early in June they are again lifted 
with a nice ball of soil, and planted in little heaps 
of soil in the same way as Cucumbers. The shoots 
must be pinched to the third or fourth leaf, and when 
the branches are well developed a layer of straw or 
litter is placed on the soil for them to ramble over. 
The first fruits are ready by the middle or end of 



July, and may be picked every two or three days 
until the crop is finished. The fruits are usually fit 
to gather about a week or ten days after the flowers 
have set well. 

Insect Pests, etc. Cucumbers grown in frames, under 
cloches, and in the open air are not so subject to 
attacks of insect pests and fungoid diseases as those 
grown in hot-houses. At the same time a watch must 
be kept at all times for slugs, who are very fond of 
them, and can only be kept in check by sprinkling 
a little lime and soot on the soil, and also by severing 
the bodies with a knife blade whenever they are seen. 
" Red spider " is a well-known Cucumber pest causing 
the under-surface of the leaves to assume a rusty 
appearance. As a dry atmosphere is the chief cause 
of " red spider," the natural remedy is to keep the 
surroundings fairly moist by watering and syringing 
as frequently as the growth of the plant and the 
weather necessitates. The " eel- worms " which are such 
a terrible pest in hot-houses, where they attack the 
roots of the Cucumbers, are not so prevalent in frames 
or the open air. When they appear, the plants are 
rendered useless and crops should not be grown in the 
same soil or in the same place a second time. The 
old soil also should be burned before using for other 


This well-known plant (Taraxacum Dens-Leonis) is 
usually treated with scant respect in the British 
Islands, although a few sensible market-gardeners are 
well aware of its value as a salad plant. The market- 
gardeners of Paris have paid attention to its cultivation 


for at least half a century, and it is now regarded as 
a regular garden crop by many notwithstanding its 
abundance as a wild plant. Selection and cultivation 
have produced a better kind of Dandelion altogether, 
and plants are now to be obtained as large as small 
Cabbage Lettuces. Cultivation is simple. The seeds 
are sown in March and April, and the young plants 
are pricked out from May to August in rows, 12 to 
15 in. apart, in a deep rich soil, the richer the better. 
During growth the hoe is frequently used, and plenty 
of water is given during dry seasons. The leaves may 
be picked during the autumn and winter months. 
If the roots are covered with a layer of soil in October, 
and forced in the same way as recommended for Barbe 
de Capucin (see p. 121), the Dandelion makes an 
excellent salad. 


The long violet-fruited Aubergine or Egg-plant 
(Solanum Melongena) is seen so regularly in the French 
and Belgian markets that it is astonishing the 
taste for this easily-grown fruit or vegetable has not 
yet spread to British gardens. The variety called 
Violette de Tokio is considered to be earlier than 
the ordinary kind. It is, moreover, dwarf er in habit 
and has larger fruits. 

The plant is an annual, and is a native of India, 
and is also found in Africa and subtropical America. 

To secure the first-early crops, seeds are sown about 
the end of November in the neighbourhood of Paris, 
on a hot-bed when the temperature is about 70 to 
75 Fahr., covering them lightly with gritty mould. 


No air is given for a week or so and the lights are 
covered with mats to accelerate germination. When 
this takes place, light must be admitted, and the 
mats are only put on at night for protection. 

A month or six weeks after sowing, the young plants 
are pricked out on similar hot-beds, allowing 3 to 4 in. 
between each. A gentle watering is given. The lights 
are kept closed for a few days, and the young plants 
are shaded from the sunshine. As soon as signs of 
fresh growth appear, a little air is given in fine weather 
to keep the plants sturdy. 

Where space, manure, and lights are available, Egg- 
plants may be pricked out a second time a fortnight 
or so after the first one, at least 6 in. being left between 
the plants on this occasion. 

From eight to ten weeks after the seeds have been 
sown that is to say, about the end of January, or early 
in February the plants should be placed in their 
fruiting frames. The beds in these need not be quite 
so hot as those first made, as the temperature outside 
is gradually increasing each day. The bed is covered 
with about 8 in. of a compost half of which is sandy 
loam and half rich old manure. About six or nine 
plants are then carefully placed in each light, and a 
good watering completes the work. The lights are 
kept closed and the plants shaded for a few days, 
until they become re-established. 

Intercropping. The space between the Egg-plants 
need not be wasted. Seeds of " Gotte " or " George " 
Lettuces and Radishes may be sown between them, 
or young Lettuces of the varieties mentioned may be 
pricked out in the rows. 

As soon as the Egg-plants have again started into 


growth, air must be given on all favourable occasions, 
otherwise the plants will become " drawn " and 

When the main shoot carries two fertile flowers (not 
double or semi-double ones), the top may be pinched 
out. This results in the development in due course 
of four or five branches, each one of which is shortened 
back a little above the second flower. From -ten to 
twelve fruits are thus secured on each plant, or from 
sixty to a hundred or more in each light. After the 
branches have been stopped in growth by pinching, all 
other side shoots are rigorously suppressed as they 
appear, so that the sap shall not be deflected from the 
swelling fruits. 

The general cultural treatment consists in giving 
plenty of air on all mild days, to keep the plants as 
dwarf and sturdy as possible ; watering in the morning 
as required by the freedom of growth, and an occasional 
syringing with soapy water in the event of insect 
attacks. If any of the plants are too weak to stand 
alone, a stake must be placed to such, and the main 
stem and branches tied to it with raffia. In the event 
of the plants becoming too tall for the lights before it 
is safe to remove these altogether, extra height is 
secured by placing a second frame on top of the first. 

The fruits from the first crop sown at the end of 
November generally ripen about five months after 
sowing the seeds, which brings the season to about 
the end of April or early in May. 

A succession of fruits may be kept up by sowing 
seeds every month or six weeks according to require- 
ments. With each succeeding crop less heat is re- 
quired in the beds, and at the end of May onwards 



the lights may be removed altogether if fine weather 

It is doubtful if it would be worth the while of any 
British market-grower to devote space to the culture 
of Egg-plants, as even in France the prices realised 
of late years have declined a good deal. 


Endive (Cichorium Endivia), supposed to have come 
originally from India, is an excellent salad plant, and 
as such is extensively grown by French market-gar- 
deners. Although treated as an annual, Endive is 
really a biennial, and may be divided into two distinct 
kinds one having the leaves broad and entire, the 
other having the leaves finely cut into crisped and 
narrow segments. The broad-leaved Endives are 
known as " Scaroles " or " Escaroles " to French 
gardeners, while the varieties with finely cut and 
divided leaves are called " Chicorees frisees." Of the 
latter there are many varieties, the best-known being 
the Italian, or " Chicoree fine d'ete," one of the quickest 
growing and much cultivated in frames. Others are 
the " Stag's Horn," or Rouen, Picpus, Ruffec, Meaux 
(Fine-curled Winter), Passion, and Reine d'hiver 
(Winter Queen), La Parisienne or Green Curled Paris 
(fig. 34) all excellent varieties for growing in the open 
air, although the first-named (the Rouen) is grown 
in frames in spring. 

Frame Culture. Early in September, and again in 
October, seeds of the Italian Endive (Chicoree fine 
d'ete) are sown under cloches, but not on hot-beds. 
When large enough to handle, the seedlings are pricked 


out a dozen under each cloche. About the end of 
October or early in November plants are also pricked 
out into cold frames, giving as much air as possible after 
the first few days, so as to prevent the young plants 
rotting or " damping off." These plants will be fit to 
gather in January and February, and, if necessary, 
the frames which have been utilised for their culture 
then become available for forcing Asparagus (see p. 76) . 


Hot-bed Culture. About the middle of October a 
hot-bed is made up, and when the heat has subsided 
until the temperature is about 75 to 85 Fahr., about 
5 in. of gritty mould is spread over the surface which 
should be not more than 2 or 3 in. away from the glass. 
The seeds are then sown, some growers afterwards 
covering them lightly with a little fine gritty mould, 
others contenting themselves by patting them down 
with a piece of board. In either case a gentle^ watering 


is given, the lights are put on the frames, and are 
covered with mats. This is to ensure rapid germina- 
tion, which is necessary to prevent the plants running 
to seed afterwards, and takes place in about forty- 
eight hours or less, if the seeds are not too old. 
Once the young plants appear, the mats are put on 
at night and taken off as early as possible in the 
morning, and the lights are tilted a little to admit 
fresh air on all occasions when the weather is favour- 

Pricking out. About ten or fifteen days after the 
seeds have been sown, the young plants will be ready 
for pricking out, either with the finger or a small stick. 
For this purpose another hot-bed, similar to the first, 
must have been prepared, the only difference being 
that the surface of the mould spread over the manure 
must be from 4 to 5 in. away from the glass. The 
young plants are spaced out 2 to 3 in. from each 
other all ways, and are buried up to the seed-leaves 
in the soil. The seedlings are gently watered with a 
fine-rosed waterpot, and after the lights are put on 
the frames they are not opened for two or three days, 
until the young plants have recovered. The mats, 
of course, are put on every night and taken off every 
day, and a little air is given to strengthen the plants 
on fine days. 

Transplanting. From two to three weeks that is, 
about the middle of November after the young 
Endives have been pricked out as above, they will 
be large enough for transplanting finally. This will 
be done on another prepared bed having a temperature 
of 70 to 80 Fahr. The manure in the hot-bed should 
be covered with a compost about 6 in. thick, made up 


of two-thirds leaf-soil or old manure and one-third 
gritty loam or good garden soil. The surface now 
should be about 5 or 6 in. from the glass, to allow the 
plants sufficient space to heart up. About three dozen 
plants are placed under each light, after which they 
are nicely watered and kept " close " for a few days, 
and also slightly shaded. 

Once established, air is given on all fine days on the 
leeward side, and the plants are given water whenever 
they require it, judging by the condition of the soil, 


etc. At night-time mats must be spread over the 
lights sometimes two or three thick in very frosty 
weather. They should, however, be removed as early 
as possible in the morning. 

In the event of the heat declining in the beds, it 
will also be necessary to " line " the frames with fresh 

About the end of January that is about three 
months and a half from the date of sowing the seeds 
in mid-October the Endives will be ready to gather. 

Seeds of Endive may also be sown in the way de- 
scribed about the middle of January, to be ready by 


the middle of March ; and again in the middle of 
February for gathering in May. As the season ad- 
vances and becomes naturally warmer, it will not be 
necessary to make the hot-beds so thick or with so 
much fresh manure as for those used during the colder 
months of the year. 

From the middle of March, fine-leaved Endives may 
be sown under cloches or in cold frames, pricking out 
the seedlings and transplanting in due course in the 
way already described. As the season advances, the 
lights or cloches may be taken off the plants altogether 
in fine weather. They must be kept growing steadily 
by giving plenty of water, almost every day it does 
not rain, otherwise there is a danger of the plants 
running to seed or " bolting." 

Intercropping. During the summer months Endives 
in the open air are intercropped with Cos and Cabbage 
Lettuces, and later on in the season Spinach or 
Corn Salad is often sown between the rows. I have 
seen such plantations in the neighbourhood of Vitry 
in August, and was astonished at the use made of 
every square inch of ground. 

The broad-leaved or " Scarole " Endives possess a 
hardy constitution and are finely flavoured. The most 
popular varieties are the "Batavian" or "Scarole ronde," 
" Green-market " or " Vertemaraichere," chiefly grown 
for autumn and winter use ; while the " Scarole blonde," 
or " Lettuce-leaved Endive," is an early variety that 
comes into use in June and July from seeds sown 
about the middle of April on a bed having a tempera- 
ture of 65 to 70 Fahr. The " blonde " Endives are 
planted about i ft. apart every way, but the "Batavian" 
(fig. 35) (" ronde ") or " Verte maraichere " kinds 


require another 2 in. Another large variety called 
" S ' carole geante " or " Giant Batavian," owing to its 
size and vigour, requires about 18 in. between each 
plant, to allow it to reach its proper size. 

The autumn plantations should be made not later 
than the first week in September as a rule ; and then 
it would be wise to have the plants in beds of the 
same width as the lights and frames generally in use, 
as these are handy for protection if necessary. 

Blanching and Tying. There are many ways of 
blanching Endives, but one of the simplest is to tie 
the plants up in the same way as recommended for 
Lettuces when they are sufficiently developed say 
when more than three-fourths of their growth has 
been made. When the frosts appear, the plants 
may be lifted carefully with a spade and transferred 
to cellars or placed in frames spreading some dry 
litter or straw over the plants in the latter to exclude 
the light. In the open air, after the plants are tied 
up, they must be liberally watered when necessary, 
to encourage the whitening " hearts " in the centre 
to mature as rapidly as possible. 


The Leek (Allium Porrum) constitutes an important 
crop in French as well as in English market-gardens, 
and it is probable that, so far as open-air culture is 
concerned, there is but little difference in methods 
employed on both sides of the Channel.* Ideas, 
however, differ a good deal, and the French prefer 
the smaller and more quickly grown tender-stemmed 


Leeks to the excessively large specimens seen in 

The varieties selected for early crops by the Parisian 
gardeners are known as the " Rouen," the " Long Winter 
Paris " (Long d'hiver de Paris), the " Large Yellow 
Poitou " (Gros Jaune du Poitou), and the " Gros 
Court " or " Ete," to which may be added the well- 
known ' ' Lyon ' ' and ' ' Musselburgh ' ' varieties. Which- 
ever variety is chosen, the main object in view is 
to secure Leeks of medium size in the early days 
of June. 

Seeds are sown thickly in the latter half of December 
on a hot-bed about 15 in. deep and with a temperature 
of 60 to 65 Fahr. To hasten germination, it is a 
good plan to soak the seeds in luke-warm water for 
about twelve hours more or less in advance. If the 
primary root in the seed begins to show, it may be 
taken for granted that the seeds have soaked long 
enough. They should then be sown at once, on a 
layer about 4 in. deep of rich gritty soil that has 
been spread over the manure in the beds, and lightly 
covered with gritty mould. Each day the soil should 
be sprinkled with tepid water until the plants are 
well above the surface. At this stage a little air 
may be given by tilting the lights on all fine days, 
but care must be taken not to subject the seedlings 
to cold draughts of air, as these cause a chill and 
consequent stagnation of growth. At night it will 
be found more or less necessary to spread a mat or 
two over the lights according to the weather, but 
such coverings must be taken off as early as possible 
the morning following. 

This treatment is kept up with occasional waterings 

LEEKS 141 

until about the end of February or early in March. 
The young Leeks are then fit for pricking out into 
another fairly good hot-bed. Only the very best 
plants are selected, and these may have the roots 
and the leaves cut back in the same way as recom- 
mended for Spring Onions (see p. 186). A space of 
3 or 4 in. is left between the little Leeks, and care 
is taken to bury them deeply leaving only an inch 
or two showing above the surface, because deep 
planting means beautiful white stems later on. A 
good soaking is given, and no air is admitted for a 
few days until the plants have recovered. Afterwards 
air is given more or less freely on all favourable occa- 
sions, and the Leeks will be ready early in June. 

From the same seed-bed Leeks may also be planted 
early in March on warm, sheltered borders in the 
open air, after cutting the roots and tops, and they 
will succeed those planted in the frames. They should 
be kept nicely watered in dry weather to keep the 
growth active. 

Open-air Culture. The soil for Leeks in the open 
air cannot be too rich and deep to secure the best 
results. Seeds may be sown at four different periods 
to keep up a succession, namely, (i) in February or 
March sow " Gros Court " or " Jaune du Poitou " to 
yield Leeks in August and September ; (ii) in April 
and May sow " Rouen " to yield from October on- 
wards ; (iii) in July sow " Long Winter Paris " to 
yield at the end of winter and early spring ; and (iv) 
sow the same variety in the first half of September to 
yield in April and May and June the following year. 

In all cases except the September sowing the 
seeds should be sown thickly, as the plants are thus 


kept very straight by crowding. When the stems 
are about as thick as an ordinary slate-pencil they 
should be lifted carefully, and the best selected for 
transplanting, after the roots and tops have been 
cut as described for Onions (see p. 186). The seeds 
sown in September should be sown thinly in drills, 
and as the weather is generally unfavourable, the 
Leeks are allowed to develop to the required size in 
the seed-beds. 

An excellent way to secure nice Leeks from the 
earlier sowings is to select a piece of ground that 
has been deeply dug or trenched, and heavily manured 
the previous season. Drills about 2 in. deep and i ft. 
apart are drawn running north and south if possible. 
In these drills the best Leeks are planted deeply 
and 6 in. apart, after the tips of the roots and tops 
have been cut off. After planting, the soil is given 
a good watering, and when the Leeks are in full 
growth afterwards, attention must be given to watering 
when necessary. Indeed, weak liquid manure from 
the stables or cow-sheds, or made from guano and 
soot, etc., given two or three times a week will keep 
the plants in an active state o ; * growth until they are 
required for use. 


As a salad, perhaps, there is no other plant equal 
in importance and popularity to the Lettuce (Lactuca 
saliva). It is quite as popular in the British Islands 
as on the Continent, and it is not too much to say 
that millions of plants are grown in market-gardens 


alone in England to meet the great demand there is 
for them especially in hot seasons. 

There are two distinct kinds of Lettuces grown, 
namely, (i) the " Cabbage Lettuce " (Lactma capi- 
tata), and (ii) the " Cos " or " Romaine " Lettuce 
(Lactuca sativa). Each kind has several varieties, 
some being more suitable for frame and bell-glass 
culture, while others nourish in the open air. 

They may be classified as follows for intensive 
cultivation : 


The seeds of the varieties belonging to this group are 
generally sown between September i and the end of 
February, and again in March for a succession on 
warm borders. 

The varieties most in favour with Parisian growers 
are : 

1. The Crepe or Petite noire Lettuce (white and 
black-seeded varieties). Both kinds are grown exten- 
sively for the first-early crops, for which they are 
specially adapted, as they " heart up " without much 
air or water. 

2. Gotte Lettuce (white and black-seeded varieties). 
The White-seeded Gotte (syn. Tennis Ball, Boston 
Market) is an excellent small-hearted frame Lettuce, 
but is not so early as the Black-seeded Gotte (syn. 
Paris Market Forcing). Good sub- varieties of the 
Gotte Lettuce are Tom Thumb, Jaune d'Or (syn. 
Golden Frame), the George, and another form of the 
Paris market forcing variety, Gotte lente d monter (or 
Black-seeded Tom Thumb). 


i. Blond d'ete or Royale (syn. White-seeded All- 
the-Year-Round) . An excellent variety, nearly all 
" heart," small, but very prolific and early, and much 

2. Palatine (syn. Brown Genoa), a large-hearted, 
quick-growing variety, the leaves of which are washed 
with coppery red beneath. 

3. Grosse brune paresseuse (syn. Black-seeded Giant 
Summer Lettuce or Mogul). A hardy and very 


productive Lettuce, forming a high centre, tinged with 
brown (fig. 44). 

4. Grosse blonde paresseuse (syn. White Stone or 
Nonpareil Cabbage Lettuce). An excellent summer 
Lettuce, with large tender long-standing heads (fig. 36). 

5. Blonde de Chavigny (syn. Chavigny White- 
seeded Lettuce). A quick-hearting variety with 
pleasing yellowish-tinted green leaves. 

6. Merveille des Quatre Saisons (syn. All the Year 
Round). An excellent Cabbage Lettuce for all seasons 
if a red-tinted variety is required. 

To the above may be added the Brown or Red 


Dutch Cabbage Lettuce (Rousse de Hollande), the 
Presbytery, Brown Champagne, and the White 

For " outdoor " crops in the British Islands, it 
may probably be safer, if not wiser at first, to rely 
upon standard varieties that have been well proved. 
At the same time the sensible grower will test several 
varieties in the hope of securing something better 
than he has already. 

(c) WINTER CABBAGE LETTUCES. The varieties in 
this group naturally follow those produced in the 
summer and autumn, and are raised from seeds sown 
in August and September, to be grown on during 
the winter months with or without protection. The 
most popular varieties are : 

1. The Passion. There are two varieties of this 
the white-seeded and the black-seeded. The former 
(called " blonde ") is recognised by the reddish tint 
of the foliage, while the black-seeded variety has 
pale green foliage without the reddish tint (see fig. 45). 

2. Grosse blonde d'hiver (syn. Winter White Cabbage 
Lettuce) is a hardy variety, and produces its large 
tender hearts early. 

3. Morine (syn. Hammersmith, or Hardy Green 
Winter Cabbage Lettuce). This is a small, but very 
hardy and productive Lettuce of good quality. 

4. Winter Tremont. A good and very hardy 
variety with large white hearts, the outer leaves, 
however, being tinted with rusty brown (see fig. 46) . 

LETTUCES. The first sowing of these Lettuces takes 
place early in September, and may be made either on 



a warm sheltered border, a raised bed, or an old hot- 
bed protected by cloches or lights. When sown on a 
border the soil is first of all deeply dug and then levelled 
with the rake. The surface is covered over with a 
good inch or more of mould made up of old manure 
and gritty soil passed through a sieve. 

The seeds are sown fairly thick, and lightly covered 
with the gritty mould, after which the seed-bed is 
gently patted down to bring the soil and seeds into 
closer contact. If inclined to be too dry, the seed- 
bed is gently watered to settle the soil and encourage 

When the seeds are to be sown under cloches, each 
little seed-bed is marked out by pressing down a 
cloche upon the prepared surface of the soil so that 
the imprint of its circumference is plainly seen. After 
sowing, the seeds are lightly covered with fine soil. 
The cloches are then placed over them, taking care 
to press the rims firmly into the soil to exclude air 
and to check evaporation. Germination at this period 
of the year usually takes place under the cloches in a 
few days. If the sun happens to be too ardent at the 
time, the cloches should be shaded with litter or mats, 
but no air is given. When, however, the young plants 
appear, shading must only be given when the sun 
becomes too hot, otherwise the plants become " drawn " 
and pale in colour. 

Pricking out. When the seed-leaves or cotyledons 
are well developed and the first true leaves begin to 
form, French gardeners prepare to prick out the young 
plants, either on a raised bed or " ados " (see p. 13), 
or under cloches or lights. 

In the case of a raised bed this should be well ex- 


posed to the south if possible, and be higher at the 
back than at the front, the width being the regulation 
one of 4|- ft. 

Three rows of cloches are placed on each raised bed. 
Under each cloche twenty-four or thirty Lettuces are 
pricked out (see figs. 37-8), the outer row being about 
2 in. away from the rim of the glass so that the young 
plants may not be injured by frost. In the event 
of any becoming frosted they should be pulled out 
and thrown away, as they rarely heart up properly 


The young plants are usually pricked out with the 
finger, as there are fewer failures in this way than if a 
dibber or a pointed stick is used. It is also a quicker 
way of pricking out a large number of plants, and 
French gardeners are often whole days at a time on 
their knees at this particular work. 

When the work is finished, the young plants are 
lightly sprinkled over with tepid water, and no air 
is given for a few days. 

When frames are used, they are placed in a position 
sloping towards the south. They are filled up with 
mould to within 3 or 4 in. of the lights. A layer of 


fine sifted sandy mould about an inch thick is then 
spread over the soil, and the young plants are pricked 
out with the finger about 2J- to 3 in. apart, after 
which they are gently watered, and kept " close/' 
i.e. without air, for a few days until growth re- 

Of course the little plants are carefully raised from 
the seed-bed so that as little injury as possible is done 
to the tender rootlets. 

Shading. Whether the young plants are under 
cloches or under lights, it is advisable during the first 
few days to shade them from strong sunshine. Once 
they have recovered a little air may be given to keep 
them sturdy. On the approach of early frosts the 
lights and cloches must be covered with mats during 
the night, and dry leaves and litter must be placed 
round the cloches. 

First Crop of " Crepe " Lettuces. About the middle 
of October, or even earlier, the Lettuces that have 
been pricked out under cloches or in frames in the 
way described above will be ready for transplanting 
to their final quarters. Beds about 4^ ft. wide are 
prepared by digging and levelling, but there is no 
need to use raised beds or " ados " at this period. 
Old beds from which other crops have been gathered 
are often used for this purpose, and as the plants 
require but little heat, the old manure and soil is simply 
turned over and made up afresh. 

When cloches are used, three rows as usual are 
arranged, and under each one four plants of these 
" Crepe " Lettuces are planted. In frames about 49 (in 
rows 7 by 7) or 56 (in rows 8 by 7) plants are placed 
under each light. 


Each plant is lifted with a " ball " of soil round the 
roots, and any dead or decaying leaves at the base 
are carefully picked off. Care must also be taken 
not to place the " collar " of the plant too low in the 
soil, otherwise the lower leaves come in contact with 
the moist earth, and may be attacked by mildew. 

After the plants are in position, a sprinkling of 
tepid water may be given to settle the soil round them, 
No air, however, is given to these early crops of " Crepe " 
Lettuces, and once established it is even dangerous 
to give them water overhead. If the manure in the 
pathways is kept wet they will secure sufficient mois- 
ture by capillary attraction (see p. 15). Protection 
from frost by covering with mats at night and by 
placing dry manure or litter round the cloches or 
frames must also be attended to as required. 

This first crop of " Crepe " Lettuces ought to be 
ready for sale by the beginning of December, or even 
by the end of November, according to the season. 

The Lettuce plants are frequently examined and 
any decaying leaves are carefully removed to prevent 
the spread of mildew. 

Second and Successive Crops of l( Crepe " Lettuces. 
About every fortnight seeds may be sown to keep up 
a succession. Many growers, however, substitute the 
"George" Gotte Lettuce for the "Crepe" for the 
sowings at the end of February and during March. 

The sowings of " Crepe " Lettuce made in October, 
November, and December are always made by them- 
selves ; but those made at the end of December, 
January, February, and beginning of March may be 
intercropped with Cauliflowers. Besides, they are 
made on the same beds as the preceding, which will 


have been re-made by adding about one-third of fresh 
manure to the old. 

About the middle of February the old beds are 
sometimes re-made with a little fresh manure for the 
third crop. If, however the plants appear to stand 
still the frames must be " lined " or " banked up '' 
with hot manure, no matter what the period of the 
year may be. Of course the mats are taken off the 
lights and cloches every morning as early as possible 
to admit light to the plants. It is well, however, 
before uncovering altogether to make sure that the 
plants have not been frosted. If they have, instead 
of taking off the mats, others are added so that the 
thawing may take place as slowly as possible. By 
this means injury to the plants is avoided. 

In December, many growers, instead of making 
up special beds for Lettuces, plant the " Crepe " variety 
on top of the Carrots which have been sown, and they 
are ready about fifty days after- 
wards that is, some time in 

If the frost increases in seve- 
rity, the frames are kept warm 
by filling the pathways with hot 
manure up to the top of the 


ONE Cos (IN THE GEN- hghts, and it may be necessary 
TRE) AND 4 CABBAGE to have a double covering of 


UNDER A CLOCHE. mats during the night. 

The last crop of " Crepe " 

Lettuce is planted in January or February according 
to the weather. A hot-bed 12 to 14 in. thick is pre- 
pared. The surface is covered with a layer about 4 in. 
thick of nice gritty mould, and then the cloches are 


placed in position in three rows as usual. Under each 
cloche four " Crepe" Lettuces with one Cos (Romaine) 
in the centre are planted (see fig. 39). During the 
night they are covered with mats as usual, and 
generally attended to, with the result that the plants 
are mature by the end of February or during 

CULTURE OF " GOTTE " LETTUCE. As already stated 
there are two varieties of " Gotte " Lettuce the black- 
seeded or " Paris Market," and the white-seeded or 
[< Tennis Ball." The latter is larger and later in 
hearting up than the former (fig. 40). 

The general cultivation of "Gotte" Lettuces differs but 
little from that of the "Crepe" or " Petite noire" varie- 
ties. The first sowing may be 
made during the second half 
of October or during the early 
days of November, under 
cloches or on raised sloping 
beds. The soil should be 
rather more sandy than for 

"Crepe" Lettuces. When large enough, the young 
plants are pricked out under cloches and on the raised 
beds. Being larger in growth than the "Crepe" 
varieties, only twenty-four plants of " Gotte " Lettuce 
should be placed under each cloche instead of thirty 
the young plants being sprinkled and kept close for 
two or three days afterwards until they pick up again. 
Afterwards air is given more or less freely according 
to the weather, as " Gotte " Lettuces do not heart up 
well if kept too close. Besides, it is not necessary to 
shut the cloches right down until two or three degrees 
of frost appear. If, however, the weather remains 


cold and the frosts become severe, the plants must 
be protected by dry litter or mats. 

About the end of January or early in February 
the " Gotte " Lettuces will be ready for planting under 
cloches or in frames, the soft, and beds in which have 
been prepared for their reception in the meantime. 
The cloches having been arranged on beds which 
should be at least i ft. thick, about 4^ ft. wide, 
and with about 4 in. of nice gritty mould on top 
three " Gotte " Lettuces are planted under each glass, 
as shown in the diagram (fig. 47), without a Cos 
Lettuce in the centre, however. 

In the frames, from which probably the " Crepe " 
varieties have been gathered, and which have been 
re-made, 36 or 42 plants may be placed under each 
light. They are then gently watered in and air is 
excluded for three or four days to encourage root 
action and new growth. Afterwards air is given as 
freely as the weather will permit, until ready for 
market, which is generally about the end of March 
for those planted in January, and in April for those 
planted in February. 

Intercropping. Very often before the earlier crops 
of Lettuce are planted, Radishes are sown on the 
beds ; while with the later crops, Radishes and 
Carrots are also sown, although some prefer to inter- 
crop with Cauliflowers. As soon as the first crops * 
have been gathered, the beds are re-made and prepared 
for those to follow them. 

For the crops that are planted in March, many 
growers substitute cloches for frames, if Carrots have 
not been sown previously. Four Cabbage Lettuces 
and one Cos Lettuce in the centre are planted beneath 



each cloche. The spaces between the cloches are 
occupied by Cauliflowers as shown in the diagram. 
Before planting the Lettuces and covering with 
cloches, a sowing of Carrots may also be made. This 
method of cultivation enables one to secure four or 
five different crops from the same soil Radishes, 
Cabbage Lettuces, Romaine or Cos Lettuces, Carrots, 
and Cauliflowers. 



Cauliflowers (c) may be planted on the borders, and other later 
crop Lettuces at x and * to be covered in turn with the glasses. 

as the " Gotte " Lettuces naturally succeed the "Crepe " 
or " Petite noire " varieties, they are themselves 
succeeded by the "George" Lettuce at the end of 
February or beginning of March. The " George" Lettuce 
is a form of the " Gotte " but is larger in growth. The 
first " George " Lettuces are ready for planting in 
February on the beds or under cloches from which 
a crop of " Crepe " Lettuces have been taken, the 
treatment as to watering, shading, protection from 


frost, and ventilation being the same as already 
described. The " George " Lettuces planted in 
February are generally fit for " pulling " by the 
end of March. At this period the'* George " Lettuces 
may also be planted in the open air on a warm and 
sheltered border, the young plants having been pre- 
viously raised and pricked out under cloches. These 
open-air Lettuces " heart up " during May. 

-This Lettuce (fig. 42) with which may be associated 

other varieties known as 
the "All the Year Round" 
(Merveille des Quatre 
Saisons) and " Brown 
Champagne" (brune de 
Champagne) is sown in the 
latter half of October under 

FIG. 42-PALATiNE CABBAGE Q oches and Qn raise d 


sloping beds, the treatment 

being precisely the same as for the " Gotte " and 
" George " Lettuces. Air is given freely on all favour- 
able occasions when the young plants have become 
established, and the cloches are even taken off alto- 
gether on fine days so as to keep the plants strong 
and sturdy. 

During March the young plants are taken from 
their winter quarters and transferred to warm sheltered 
borders ; and towards the end of the same month 
or early in April plantations may be made in the 
open or on old beds. The soil beforehand should have 
been deeply dug and levelled, and if a good layer of 
old mould has been spread over it, so much the better. 
The plants are spaced out about a foot apart in straight 



lines, and should receive a good watering if the weather 
is fine, so as to settle the soil around the roots. This 
crop of Lettuces is generally fit to gather about the 
end of May. 

Other sowings of the same varieties may be made 
at the end of February or early in March, and then 
every fortnight until August, in due course planting 
out about a foot apart, or intercropping with other 
vegetables. Such crops take from fifty to seventy 
days to mature, according to the season. 

During the period of growth it will be necessary to 
run the hoe between the plants to stir up the soil, 
not only to keep the weeds down, but to encourage 
quicker growth. In the event of very dry weather, 
frequent waterings will be necessary, or a mulching 
from the old manure beds may be placed on the 
surface of the soil to retain the moisture. 

Other Cabbage Lettuces that may be sown at the 
same time as the 
"Palatine" and 
treated in the 
same way, are 
" White - seeded 
All the 
Year Round " 
(blonde d'ete) or 
" Royal," (fig. 
43) an early and 
productive kind; 
"Brown Chavigny," a strong-growing kind; the 
" Large Brown Paresseuse " or " Grise " Lett ace 
of the Paris market-gardeners ; and the " Brown 
Champagne " all varieties of first-rate quality. With 



them may be associated the " Dutch Red " (Rousse 
de Hollande) and the " Presbytery " Lettuce. 

English growers should bear in mind the difference 
in taste between French and English people. Gener- 
ally speaking, brown or red-tinted Lettuces no 
matter how excellent they may be do not sell so 
readily in the English markets as they do in Paris. 

Under these names the French market-gardeners grow 
thousands of Cabbage Lettuces, which are apparently 
the same as those known in England as " Giant 

Summer Lettuces" 
(fig. 44). The first 
crop is sown about 
the end of February 
or beginning of 
March on a hot-bed 
or in a frame. As 
there is no necessity 
for such care at this 
season of the year 
as is necessitated by 

the autumn crops, the young plants may be trans- 
ferred when ready direct from the seed-bed to their 
final quarters in the open frames. The labour of 
pricking out is thus saved. The plants are 15 to 
18 in. apart, and during dry weather are kept well 
watered or mulched with old manure, so as to keep 
them crisp and tender. Sowings of " Grise " Lettuces 
may be made every fortnight until July, those during 
the summer being made in shady places in the open. 

WINTER CABBAGE LETTUCES. There are now about 
half a dozen kinds of Cabbage Lettuce grown in frames 



or under cloches during the winter months. Perhaps 
the best-known at present is that called the " Passion " 
of which there are two varieties, the " Red " and 
the " White," so called from the colour of the foliage. 
The name of " Passion " Lettuce has been given simply 
because this va- 
riety is usually fit 
for gathering in 
Passion Week, i.e. 
second week be- 
fore Easter. When 
grown in the open 
air, ' ' Passion ' ' Let- 
tuces are not likely 


to be ready much 

before May if the spring is cold and sunless 

(%. 45). 

Other kinds of winter Lettuces are " Large White 
Winter " (blonde d'hiver), a strong-growing variety 
that produces a very white and tender heart early 
in the season ; ' Winter Brown " (brune d'hiver), a 
somewhat smaller variety, the outer leaves of which 
are washed with brown ; the " Morine " or " Ham- 
mersmith Green Winter," a small sturdy Lettuce ; 
" Winter Red " (rouge d'hiver}, a hardy variety with 
reddish foliage and a raised " heart " ; and " Winter 
Tremont " (fig. 46), which has a large, firm, very white 
heart, and outer leaves washed with rusty brown. 

Culture. " Passion " and other winter Lettuces 
may be sown from the middle of August to the middle 
of September. About a month after sowing, the 
young plants will be ready for pricking out in warm 
sheltered positions. In ordinary mild winters they 


require no special protection, nevertheless it is wise 
to have a supply of straw or litter handy in case 
of severe frosts, so that the plants can be covered 
up when necessary. According to the prevailing 
climatic conditions, the straw or litter is put on or 
taken off, bearing in mind that the more the plants 


are exposed to the light the better otherwise they 
are apt to become pale in colour, and loose and flabby 
in habit. 


The Cos Lettuces are quite distinct in form from the 
Cabbage varieties, and are always called " Romaines " 
or " Chi cons " in France. There are many varieties, 
the following being generally considered the best by 
Parisian growers, viz. : 

1. Plate a cloches (syn. Dwarf Frame Cos Lettuce), 
an early variety with leaves at first spreading. 

2. Blonde maraichere (syn. Paris White Cos), an 


excellent Cos Lettuce, which hearts up quickly and 
is very extensively grown. 

3. Grise maraichere (syn. Paris Market Cos), a 
variety highly esteemed for cloche culture in the 
neighbourhood of Paris. 

4. Verte maraichere (syn. Green Paris Market), a 
variety not quite so large as the " blonde maraichere " 
but somewhat earlier, and useful either for cloches or 
the open air. 

The first sowing of Cos or Romaine Lettuces under 
cloches may be made at the end of August, without 
the use of hot-beds. The soil should be deeply dug 
and well prepared, and afterwards covered with an 
inch or two of fine mould (old manure and gritty soil 
passed through a sieve). The surface is made flat 
and sufficiently firm either by patting with the back 
of the spade or a piece of board. 

Imprints of a cloche are taken on the surface as 
many times as there are seed-beds to be sown. The 
seeds are then sown within the circumference of each, 
and lightly covered with fine soil, and gently watered. 

Shading. If the sun is too hot, the cloches covering 
the little seed-beds should be covered with mats to 
encourage quick germination. When this has taken 
place, however, the mats must be removed, and if the 
sun is still too strong a little whiting, chalk, or lime 
mixed up in water may be smeared over the cloches 
on the sunny side. The whitening of the cloches is 
to prevent the young plants from being scorched, and 
at the same time to allow sufficient light to percolate 
through the shading so that the leaves shall not turn 
yellow or become drawn. A little milk, or a piece of 


butter, added to the whiting, lime, or chalk will 
make the liquid adhere more firmly to the glass, and 
will not wash off with the first shower of rain. 

The varieties of Cos Lettuce sown at this period 
are the " Dwarf Frame Cos " (known as Plate d cloches) 
and the " Paris Market Cos " (Grise maraichere). The 
last-named kind is chiefly useful for planting between 
the cloches that are covering plants of the first-named. 

A well-known variety of Cos Lettuce, called " verte 
maraichere" or " Green Paris Market Cos/' is not now 
grown so largely by the market-gardeners of Paris as 
formerly, chiefly because it has failed to realise the 
best prices in market. It is, however, hardier than 
either Plate a cloches or the Grise maraichere, and in 
cold or bleak localities it may still be regarded as a 
profitable, and even desirable, crop. 

Early in September, the seedlings will have developed 
two or three young leaves. They are then carefully 
pricked out under cloches, so as to be ready for planting 
in their final quarters in October. About twenty-four 
or thirty young plants are usually pricked out under 
each cloche, as shown in the diagrams (figs. 37-8). 
Early in October one Cos Lettuce is planted under each 
cloche, and not more than one, if the very best plants 
and prices are desired. Air is excluded for a few days 
after planting, and shading from strong sunshine may 
be necessary with mats, but once the plants have 
taken hold of the new ground, air may be given freely 
on all fine days more than is usually given to Cabbage 
Lettuces at the same period. 

At the beginning of November hot-beds should be 
prepared for Cos Lettuces that are to be " cloched." 
These beds are made of the hottest and best manure, 


to ensure a steady heat during the severe weather. 
In addition, it will be necessary, perhaps, to place dry 
manure between the cloches, and also to fill up the 
narrow pathways between the beds. Severe frosts at 
night must be kept out by double or treble coverings 
of mats if necessary. 

When the beds are prepared, and covered with 
4 or 5 in. of nice mould, one 
Grise maralchere Cos Lettuce, and 
three "Black Gotte" Cabbage Let- 
tuces are to be planted under each 
cloche, the Cos in the centre and 
the Cabbage Lettuces at the points 
of an equilateral triangle, as shown 
in fig. 47. These Lettuces are FlG 47> 

from seeds sown in September. 

. It should be noted that the variety of Cos Lettuce 
known as " Dwarf Frame Cos " or " Plate a cloches " is 
considered unsuitable for planting with Cabbage 
Lettuces in the same way as " Paris Market Cos " (Grise 
mar dicker e], because its leaves at first spread out so 
much towards the circumference of the cloche that 
the Cabbage Lettuces would not have a fair chance of 
developing. Towards maturity, however, the leaves 
rise up to the top of the cloche, and then bend inwards 
one over the other. 

SPRING LETTUCES. For spring crops seeds of Cos 
Lettuce are sown in the latter half of September, or 
early in October, in the open air, or on raised sloping 
beds, or under cloches. The plants are pricked out in 
due course, placing twenty-four or thirty under each 
cloche (see figs. 37-8) . After shading and keeping close 
for a few days, air is then given on all favourable 



occasions. In the event of the plants becoming 
" drawn," they should be taken up carefully, have the 
old or dead leaves taken off, and be replanted imme- 
diately on a fresh bed, placing, however, only eighteen 
or twenty plants under each cloche. They are after- 
wards treated in a similar way to Cabbage Lettuces 
sown at the same period. 

At the end of December or early in January planting 



FIG. 48. Showing 9 rows of Lettuces on same bed. The arrows 
indicate how the Cloches are moved from Lettuces marked (i) to those 
marked (2) and afterwards to those marked (*s). 

under cloches or lights takes place. Under each cloche 
one Cos and four Cabbage Lettuces may be planted, 
as shown in the diagram (fig. 41) , while Cos and Cabbage 
Lettuces may be planted alternately in rows in the 
frames. Early in February these Lettuces are fit to 
gather. When the beds under the cloches and in the 


frames have been cleared, the surface is prepared for 
a second crop. 

About the end of February or early in March, if the 
weather is at all favourable, six rows of " Paris Market 
Cos " Lettuces (Grise maraichere) may be planted be- 
tween the cloches under each of which a Lettuce is 
already well established. It will be seen from the 
diagram that each row of cloches is flanked by two 
rows of Lettuces one in front and one behind and 
that the exposed Lettuces are planted in the spaces 
between the cloches. It thus happens that there are 
nine rows of Lettuces on each bed six being open 
and three under cloches (see fig. 48). 

As soon as the Lettuces marked (i) under cloches 
have been cut, the glasses thus rendered free are 
placed over the Lettuces in rows numbered (2) in the 
diagram leaving rows of Lettuces numbered (3), of 
course, uncovered for the time being. When the No. i 
Lettuces are mature, which is generally about three 
weeks after covering, the cloches are then available 
for covering the plants in rows marked (2), which ripen 
about a fortnight afterwards. The cloches from rows 
marked (2) are then placed upon the rows marked *3. 

The shifting of the cloches from one row on to 
another is done easily, and more expeditiously if the 
first cloche at the beginning is taken away to the other 
end of the bed. The vacant space thus left enables one 
to move the cloches forward (in what may be called a 
north-westerly direction, as shown in the diagram) so 
as to cover the required rows marked (2) as shown. 

The last Lettuces from these beds become mature 
in April, or early in May, according to the mildness or 
otherwise of the season. 


Borders. When planting between the cloches in 
February or March in the way described above, it is 
also advisable to plant out rows of " Paris Market Cos " 
Lettuces (Grise mar dicker e) on warm sheltered borders, 
allowing a foot of space between each plant. These 
Lettuces are usually fit for market at the end of April or 

during May. After plant- 
ing on the borders, some 
growers also sow seeds of 
Carrots, Radishes, and 
Leeks among the Cos Let- 
tuces, and keep the whole 
bed well watered when 


Another variety of Cos 
Lettuce called " Paris 
White " (Blonde marai- 
chere] is extensively culti- 
vated in the French 
market-gardens, and finds 
a ready sale. It hearts 
up quickly, stands a good time, and is of fine quality 

(% 49)- 

Seeds of this variety are usually sown in the latter 

half of October, the young plants being pricked out 
under cloches in the way already described. When 
large enough they are planted under cloches. 

of March until the end of July or middle of August 
Lettuces are grown in the open air. In March a 
sowing of " Giant Summer " Cabbage Lettuce (the 
Grise or Grosse brune paresseuse) (fig. 44) and 
" Paris White " Cos should be made, either under 


cloches or frames. When large enough about twenty 
young plants may be put under each light, or ten Cos 
Lettuces and ten Cabbage Lettuces may be planted 
alternately in the same space. When established, air 
must be given freely during genial weather, and 
attention must be paid to watering, so as to keep the 
plants tender and growing. 

Every second or third week from March until 
August, seeds may be sown in the open air on nicely 
prepared soil. The, seedlings are pricked out and 
transplanted in due course. The chief cultural details 
during the summer months consist of frequent hoeings 
between the plants and a plentiful supply of water. 
If the plants are allowed to suffer from drought they 
are almost sure to " bolt " i.e. run to seed during the 
summer months. They should therefore be copiously 
watered every day except when it rains heavily. 

It is as well, however, to mention that watering is 
best done during the warm weather either in the 
morning or in the evening, as the wetting of plants 
exposed to the sun scorches the leaves and spoils 
their appearance. 

For summer and autumn Lettuces the secret of 
success appears to be sow the seeds thinly ; keep the 
young plants growing and tender by copious waterings ; 
and plant out as early as possible after the first true 
leaves form after the cotyledons or seed-leaves. Other 
varieties as well as those mentioned may of course 
be sown for summer and autumn crops. 

Tying Cos Lettuces. Although many varieties of 
Cos Lettuce hardly require tying at all, it generally 
pays to perform the operation, whether the plants are 
grown under cloches, frames, or in the open. It 



makes them swell earlier, and gives a greater purity 
and crispness to the hearts. The tying is done when 
the plants have made three-fourths of their growth, 
and the material used may be raffia or rye grass. If 
steeped in water for about twenty minutes the tying 
material becomes more pliable and is more easily 
handled, even by experts. 

Diseases and Pests. Lettuces under intensive culti- 
vation are subject to attacks from numerous pests and 
diseases. Amongst the most common insect pests are 
aphides, or green fly, which attack the plants at the 
" collar " the point where the leaves and roots join. 
The Cock-chafer Grub (Melolontha vulgaris) preys upon 
the roots. The soil should be searched as soon as the 
leaves of a plant are seen to droop, and very often 
the grub will be found at the base. Wireworms (Elater 
lineatus] and other grubs also play havoc with the 
plants in the open air, and can only be kept in check 
by the use of traps made of pieces of potato or carrot, 
which should be examined frequently. 

Mildew (Peronospora gangliformis) the " meunier " 
or miller of the French gardener is one of the worst 
pests amongst early Lettuces, and where it is antici- 
pated, the young plants, and also the surrounding soil, 
should be sprinkled with flowers of sulphur. A weak 
solution of sulphate of copper has also been found 
useful as a preventive by watering the soil after sowing 
the seeds, or before planting out the seedlings. The 
same remedy applies to the rust fungus that also attacks 
Lettuces. About i Ib. sulphate of copper to 100 pints 
of water makes a good solution. Where young 
Lettuces are attacked with mildew, the wisest course 
to adopt is to lift the plants carefully and burn them, 


afterwards mending the rows with healthy plants 
from the seed-bed. If a little more sand or grit were 
mixed with the mould on the surface, it is possible 
that mildew would not be so prevalent amongst early 
Lettuces as it is, when the old mould only is used. 

Slugs are also very fond of young Lettuces, but may 
be checked by sprinkling powdered lime and soot over 
the plants and soil on several successive evenings or 
early mornings. 


The cultivation of early Melons (Cucumis Meld) 
forms one of the greatest industries in Parisian market- 
gardens. Every one in Paris, apparently, eats Melons, 
and when the fruits are cheap in August about zd. or 
%d. per Ib. one may see great barrow-loads of them 
being hawked in the street, where they sell readily. 
Early in the season, however, similar fruits realise 
as much as 2os. to 255. in Paris, while even the " second 
choice " fetch 6s. or 8s. each. 

The varieties grown are quite distinct from the 
netted varieties one is accustomed 
to see in English hothouses. The 
French people prefer what are 
known as " Cantaloup " Melons, 
and the varieties which find most 
favour with the market-gardeners 
of Paris are those known as " Can- 
taloup Early Frame " or Prescott 
hatif a chassis (fig. 50) and Prescott * IG ' 


fond blanc. The latter is a strong- 
growing variety, with large roundish compressed fruits, 
often nearly a foot in diameter, with irregular ribs and 


furrows, and a mottled grey-green and yellowish 
appearance when ripe. The flesh is reddish, and the 
flavour is excellent. A Silver variety called " argentS " 
(fig. 51) is also much grown. Another form, Prescott 
fond gris, is often seen in the French markets. 

The" Cantaloup" Melon was introduced from Armenia 
to Italy about the fifteenth century, and was brought 
into France in 1495 by Charles VIII. 

Culture. To obtain the first-early crops of Melons, 


seeds are sown in January. The plants from these, 
however, require frames heated with hot-water pipes 
as well as manure, as the chief trouble during the 
winter months is to secure as much light as possible 
for the plants. 

The cultivation of early " Cantaloup " Melons may 
well be recommended to those market nurserymen 
in the British Islands who have already suitable glass- 
houses well equipped with hot-water apparatus. 
If seeds are sown about the middle of November, it 
is possible to secure nice fruits (which would probably 
command high prices) about the end of March, The 


seeds for this purpose should be well ripened and 
saved from fruits of the preceding year, to secure 
the best results. 

The main crop in frames is generally sown in 
February and March. A hot-bed 2-J to 3 ft. thick is 
made of quite fresh and old manure in equal propor- 
tions. It is trodden down and made firm and level, 
and if necessary well watered. Then, before placing 
the frame upon it, the bed is covered with 6 to 8 in. 
of fine and rich gritty mould that has been passed 
through a sieve. The frame is placed in position, and 
is banked up or " lined " all round with a good layer 
of manure to keep the cold out and the heat constant 

When the heat of the bed has sunk to 75 or 80 F., 
the seeds are sown about I in. apart in shallow drills. 
They are lightly covered with soil, and gently watered. 
For two or three days until the seeds begin to sprout 
the frame is kept close and covered with mats. After 
germination, the mats are taken off during the day- 
time, but placed on again at night, and a little air is 
given for an hour or two each day when the weather 
is genial. 

Should the temperature within the frame fall below 
68 or 70 F., the old manure outside the frame must 
be removed, and fresh hot manure should take its 

At the end of fourteen or eighteen days, when the 
seed-leaves are well developed, another hot-bed to 
accommodate a three-light frame should be made up in 
the same way as the first. The young Melons are 
then either pricked out of the seed-bed into the new 
soil about 4 or 5 in. apart, making a hole with the 


finger instead of a dibber, or, better still, each one 
is placed in a 3-in. pot, using a compost of rich gritty 
loam and a little leaf soil. When the young plants 
are being put into pots, they should be handled 
carefully so as not to injure the roots too much, 
and the soil also should not be pressed too firmly 
around them. Whether the plants are pricked out 
or potted up, care should be taken in either case 
to bury the young stems in the soil up to the seed- 

After potting, the young plants should be " plunged " 
in the compost up to the rim of the pots, before which 
they should have been watered with a fine-rosed water- 
pot to settle the soil. 

Another method of treating the seedling Melons is 
as follows : A 3-in. pot is taken and a wisp of straw 
or litter is twisted round it firmly so as to acquire 
the shape. Pot and straw are then placed where the 
young Melons are to grow as many pots and wisps 
of straw being used as are necessary, and placed 
firmly side by side. When finished a gentle twist and 
pull of the pot will free it from the straw, in which 
a hole or pocket corresponding to the form of the pot 
is left. Each hole is then filled with rich loamy 
compost, in which the young Melon is planted. The 
advantage of this method appears to be that when 
the roots have absorbed the nourishment from the 
soil surrounding them, they are then at liberty to 
pierce their way through the litter in search of more, 
whereas in pots they would be unable to travel in this 

Whichever method is employed, it is essential to 
keep the lights covered with mats for three or four 


days until the young plants recover from the shifting. 
Afterwards, the mats are taken off during the day, and 
a little air is given in genial weather by tilting the 
lights on one side or another, or at the top or bottom 
according to the direction of the wind always 
taking care to open only on the leeward side. 

Pinching. When the plants have developed three 
or four leaves (beyond the seed-leaves) the stem is 
pinched off about an inch or a little more, beyond the 
second leaf ; and the seed-leaves themselves are also 
suppressed, so that when decaying they shall not injure 
the main stem. Pinching should always be done 
before the young Melons are planted out finally, as it 
would be unwise to injure the tops and bottoms of 
the plants at the same time. After the pinching 
process, a little air should be given, just for two or three 
hours in the middle of the day during mild or sunny 
weather. If necessary, slight sprinklings with tepid 
water may also be given, but one must guard against 
too much moisture and too much air at this particular 

Planting. When the two side branches that usually 
result from the first pinching have two or three leaves 
each, the plants are then ready for placing in their 
fruiting quarters. 

When several rows of frames are being used for Melon 
culture, the beds are made in the following way : In 
the first row of frames, the soil is taken out about 
2ft. wide and i ft. deep, and placed outside the beds 
or moved to the end where the last trench is to be 
made. The trench is then filled with two-thirds fresh 
manure and one-third old manure, all well mixed and 
trodden down. The first bed being thus made, the 


soil from the trench in the second bed is spread over it 
evenly. In the same way after the trench in the 
second bed has been filled with manure, the soil from 
the third bed is spread over it ; and so on till all the 
beds are made. 

When the heat has sunk to about 75 or 80 Fahr., 
two or three Melon plants are then placed under each 
light in the centre of the frame. A hole is scooped out 
of the compost with the hands and a young Melon 
plant is carefully turned out of its pot or lifted from its 
position with a nice ball of soil. Each plant is carefully 
placed in the hole thus made, arranging one shoot to 
point to the top of the frame and the other towards 
the bottom. Injury to the roots must be avoided, and 
the mould should be packed round them carefully 
by hand. 

A little tepid water is then given to each plant, the 
frames are closed up and shaded with mats for three 
or four days until the plants have recovered. When 
they show signs of new growth, the mats may be 
taken off during the day unless the sun gets too hot. 
They are, however, put on again at night-time for 

Ventilation and Watering. About a week after 
planting a little air may be given, very little at first, 
but gradually increasing the amount as the weather 
becomes warmer and the plants stronger. Attention 
must be paid to watering, the supply being regulated 
largely by the vigour of growth and the weather. 
When the plants are growing freely and the weather 
is warm, more water will be required than when reverse 
conditions prevail. About the end of May, or during 
June, if the weather is fine the lights may be taken 


off the plants altogether during the daytime. They 
should, however, be handy to cover up immediately 
in case of a sudden storm or a dangerous faU in the 

Stopping or Pinching. When the side shoots (that 
were stopped some time before planting) are a foot 
or more in length, it will be necessary to pinch out 
the tops of each an inch or so beyond the third, fourth, 
or even fifth leaf, according to the vigour of the shoots. 
This stopping causes side shoots to develop from each 
branch, but these shoots or "laterals" must^be also 
checked in their turn. 

At this stage it is a good plan to spread straw or 
litter over the bed before new branches develop. 

In due course side shoots will appear on the branches 
that were last " stopped " by pinching. When about a 
foot long this third set of shoots should also be pinched 
back a little above the third leaf. At this stage any 
flowers on the shoots should be suppressed, as they 
are generally male (or staminate) blossoms and are 
quite useless for the formation of Melons. If by 
chance the shoots are bearing any female (or pistillate) 
flowers easily recognised by the roundish swelling 
behind the corolla these are also best destroyed, as 
the plants are still too young and lack the necessary 
force to develop fruits worth having from these first 

After this stopping and pinching, as growth con- 
tinues, a watch is kept for the appearance of female 
flowers. When the young fruits are forming behind 
these, a selection of those best situated should be made. 
Those on the main stem or too near the centre of the 
plant should be removed. Later on, when the fruits 


are about as large as a hen's or even a pigeon's egg, 
two of the very best are selected and all the others are 
taken off the plant. When the fruits have grown 
somewhat larger say about the size of a cricket ball 
or a man's fist the shoots bearing them should be 
shortened back an inch or so beyond the leaf in front 
of the fruit, so that the sap may be drawn as far as 
this without being wasted. 

The best fruit on each plant is then decided upon 
whether it be on the shoot pointing to the top of the 
frame or on the shoot pointing to the bottom and the 
other is suppressed. One fruit only is thus allowed 
to ripen on each plant, as it is considered better to 
have one large fine fruit than two smaller ones. 

As each pinching and stopping of the shoots causes 
a certain amount of injury, it is well to give the plants 
a slight sprinkling and to keep them shaded from 
bright sunshine for a day or two. 

As the fruits increase in size and weight it is a good 
plan to place a piece of glass, slate, or board beneath 
each one so that the under-side shall not become dis- 
coloured. Uniformity of colour may also be secured 
by slightly turning the fruits from time to time, or by 
standing them upright on their stalks. 

Occasionally a fruit is inclined to become irregular 
or deformed. This may be avoided or overcome by 
making a vertical and transverse slit in the skin, 
(thus : -f ) in the place where there is a hollow. The 
effect of these slits is to draw the sap to the injured 
portion, thus causing it to fill up the hollow that at 
first seemed imminent. 

During the development of the fruits, attention is 
given to watering and ventilation. While the soil 


must be kept moist and the plants kept growing 
steadily, care must be taken not to give too much 
water ; and the water itself should be tepid or of the 
same temperature at least as the atmosphere in the 
frame. Watering is always best done in the morning 
say before ten o'clock before the sun becomes too 
powerful to scorch the wetted foliage ; otherwise it 
should be done late in the afternoon. 

Under certain conditions, as, for instance, when 
the plants are growing more vigorously than usual, 
and are inclined to develop too many shoots and 
leaves, water should be withheld almost entirely, or 
given only very sparingly. This causes a check to 
the growth of stems and leaves, and results in better 
development of the fruits. 

Late Crops. For a later crop of Melons, seeds should 
be sown in April. It will not be necessary, however, 
at that period of the year to go to the trouble of making 
up such deep hot-beds as was necessary for the earlier 
crops, as the weather is far more genial, and the 
prevailing temperature is naturally higher. Having 
marked out the place to be occupied by the frames, 
a trench in the centre about 18 in. wide and i ft. deep 
is taken out with the spade. The trench is then filled 
with good fresh manure that has been previously well 
turned over. When trodden down, it is covered with 
a layer of nice mould about 6 in. deep taken from 
the adjoining frames ; and so on with each bed in 

Rotation. It should be borne in mind that it is not 
good practice to grow Melons two years running on 
the same ground. The principles of rotation should 
be applied to intensive cultivation, as the benefits 


arising therefrom are just as great as in the open 

Gathering the Fruit. It is important to know exactly 
when a Melon fruit is fit to cut from the plant. If left 
too long, or cut before the proper time, a loss may 
result to the grower. The best time to cut the fruit 
is when the skin commences to change colour. Fruits 
cut at this time should be placed in a cool, dark, airy 
place where they will ripen gradually without losing in 
quality or flavour. When the fruits assume a dis- 
tinctly yellow tinge they should be eaten without 

MELONS UNDER CLOCHES. The kinds best suited 
for growing under cloches are known as " Chypre " or 
" Kroumir," although the " Fresco tt " varieties may 
be also grown. 

Seeds are sown early in April on hot-beds prepared 
as for the " Prescott " varieties (see p. 169), and in ten 
or fifteen days the young plants are fit to be pricked 
out on beds about i ft. in thickness. They may be 
covered either with frames or cloches. By the first 
or second week in May the young plants will be large 
enough to transfer to their fruiting quarters. A 
trench about 2 ft. wide and i ft. deep is prepared, 
and filled with good manure. Over this 6 or 8 in. of 
good rich loam and leaf soil is placed, and the Melons 
are carefully planted about 2 ft. apart. Each one is 
covered with a cloche, and air and light are excluded 
for several days until the plants recover. Shading is 
done either with mats or by white-washing the cloches 
on the sunny side. 

About a week or a fortnight after planting accord- 
ing to the weather and the state of the plant a little 


air may be given, gradually raising the cloche more 
and more on the tilt as the plants increase in size and 

About the end of May the cloche is no longer large 
enough to hold the entire plant. The branches must, 
therefore, be allowed to run outside as soon as weather 

Some straw or litter may be spread over the beds 
before this to keep them moist, and the cloches may 
be raised off the soil by placing three small pots or 
tilts beneath them. In this way the main stem will 
be protected against cold or against heavy waterings 
or drenching rains. 

The tips of the shoots are pinched in the same way as 
recommended for the " Prescott" varieties (see p. 173), 
but eight or nine leaves may be left on the two branches 
that develop after the first stem has been stopped. 
The shoots arising from these two branches should be 
shortened to four leaves ; and the branches arising 
from these, again, may be shortened to three leaves. 

As soon as fruits appear a selection should be made 
of the best. Those that are allowed to ripen should 
be protected by cloches, or each fruit at least should 
be covered with a large leaf to protect it from the 
sun. About the middle of July the cloches may be 
removed altogether if the weather is fine, and early 
in August the " Chypre " or " Kroumir " Melons 
should be ripe. 

Diseases. Melons are afflicted occasionally with 
several diseases. The worst apparently in French 
gardens is the " nuile " a disease which causes the 
leaves, young stems, and fruits to rot. It is brought 
about by a fungus known as Scolecotrichum mcloph- 



thorum, and is due to cold, wet, and erratic seasons, 
and is checked naturally by keeping the plants warm 
and dry during such periods, and dusting with flowers 
of sulphur. Canker sometimes attacks the plants 
and is best cured by cutting away the injured portions, 
and rubbing powdered lime or ashes on the wounds. 
Black Aphis, Red Spider, and Thrips are best checked 
by frequently syringing the under-surface of the 
leaves with a quassia-chip and soft-soap solution, 
or any of the advertised insecticides. 


A treatise on French market-gardening would be 
scarcely complete without some reference to the 
French method of cultivating Mushrooms. The system 
of culture adopted by growers in the outskirts of Paris 
differs in so many ways from that practised in England, 
that it may be worth while recording it somewhat 
fully. Last summer (1908) I had the pleasure of 
meeting a Parisian mushroom grower, and he very 
kindly showed me not only his own " cultures," but 
also introduced me to some friends of his in the neigh- 
bourhood of Montrouge. 

It has been estimated by M. Cure a writer on French 
market-gardening that 10,000,000 francs (or 400,000) 
are earned by the cultivation of Mushrooms and the 
sale of old beds every year in the neighbourhood 
of Paris alone. This is sufficient to indicate what 
an important industry mushroom-growing is, and also 
accounts for the establishment of the " Syndicat des 
Champignonnistes," a society formed to protect the 
interests of mushroom-growers in France. The British 


mushroom-grower or " Champignonniste," as he 
ought to call himself perhaps prefers to work out his 
salvation on independent, instead of on co-operative 
lines, and has, therefore, something yet to learn from 
his French competitor. 

In the neighbourhood of Paris Mushrooms are mostly 
grown in underground quarries from which stone has 


been excavated in years gone by. These quarries, or 
carrier es, are from 60 to 80 ft. below the surface, a 
fact that ensures a fairly equable temperature from 
60 to 70 Fahr. all the year round. Some of these 
quarries are entered by a sloping roadway, but ad- 
mission to many is only obtained by descending a 
more or less shaky pole, with rungs thrust through it 
to make a ladder. It is like descending an old and 


deep well, and it is with some trepidation and curiosity 
that the stranger makes his first descent in this way. 

Arrived at the bottom one finds himself in a large 
opening, from which what look like dark tunnels 
radiate in every direction. Small lamps, fixed to a 
stick about 18 in. long, are used to enable the workmen 
to see what they are doing. Colza oil is now burned 
in these little lamps in preference to paraffin, as it 
was found that the fumes from the latter caused 
headaches and other troubles that prevented the 
workmen from attending to their duties for more than 
two or three hours at a time. 

The tunnels or galleries are just as they were left 
by the quarrymen, except where the mushroom- 
growers have collected irregular masses of stone and 
piled them up as supports to the roof, or to fill some 
great gap in the side walls. The general appearance 
is well shown in the accompanying illustrations (figs. 
52, 53), from The Parks and Gardens of Paris. 

Fresh air being essential, not only for human 
life but also for the sake of the Mushrooms is secured 
by lighting fires beneath some of the openings that 
communicate with the outer air. This causes an 
upward current at one place and a downward current 
at another, and in this way the air is constantly kept 
in a fresh state as in a coal mine. 

It is no easy matter traversing these mushroom 
galleries, as many of them are only a few feet wide, 
and often only 4 or 5 ft. high. The inky blackness 
is only just dispelled by the glow from the lamp, while 
one has to plant his feet carefully on the ground to 
avoid slipping on the wet or greasy and irregular 


The manure used for these mushroom beds is the 
best that can be got from the Parisian stables. It is 
brought to the mouth of the caves overhead, and 
thrown down to the bottom. Here it is mixed and 
turned, and brought into the proper state for making 
up the beds. These run along the floors and at the 
base of the walls of the tunnels, and vary in length 
according to the space available. Sometimes several 
beds run side by side, as shown in fig. 53, with only 
a narrow alley between them wide enough to allow 


a man to walk by putting one foot in front of the 
other. Each bed is generally about 18 in. wide at the 
base, and about 18 in. high, tapering upwards so that 
the top is only about 4 in. wide. 

In such restricted places, it is obvious that carrying 
or wheeling the manure from one place to another is 
by no means easy work, and there is always plenty to 
do. As soon as beds cease to produce a crop the 
old manure is taken away and hauled up to the surface ; 
and fresh manure is brought in for new beds. 


The beds themselves are made up by placing the 
prepared manure in heaps and layers, and then pressing 
it firmly with the feet and knees until the required 
degree of solidity is secured. All loose pieces of 
manure or litter are then " combed " away from the 
surface with the hands, to give a finished and tidy 

When the temperature has sunk to 80 Fahr. the 
beds are ready for " spawning." This work is generally 
done by a more experienced workman. He breaks 
the loose cake of spawn into pieces about 3 or 4 in. 
square, and pushes each piece well into the manure- 
bed about 6 in. from the other. 

The beds thus " spawned " are then ready to be 
" cased over " with a layer of soil. The Parisian 
growers prefer for this purpose a mixture of rich 
loamy soil and mortar rubble, or old plaster of Paris. 
This is passed through a half-inch sieve, and is well 
mixed up in advance. A layer of this compost, from 
i-J- to 2j in. thick, is then spread over the beds with 
a little flat wooden shovel, the back of which is used 
to make the surface even and regular. 

Two or three weeks after these various operations 
have been performed satisfactorily, the young Mush- 
rooms begin to appear on the surface of the soil. When 
large enough 2 in. or a little more across the tops 
they are picked and sent to market. 

In these Parisian caves, owing, no doubt, to the 
equable temperature and the proper degree of humidity 
in the atmosphere, the beds will produce mushrooms 
for eight or nine weeks, and often longer under very 
favourable circumstances. The mushrooms are 
picked every day, and not once or twice a week, as in 


the case of larger beds made in the open air ; and as 
the prices vary from 6d. to 2s. per lb., according to 
circumstances and seasons, one may form some idea 
as to whether the industry is remunerative or not. 
At the same time the enormous expenses entailed in 
the production must not be overlooked. 

It sometimes happens that the beds become too 
dry. They are then moistened with tepid water ; and 
it is necessary to apply it by means of a fine-rosed 
water-can, so that the soil shall not be broken down 
from the manure it is encasing. 

Diseases. The mushroom-growers of Paris have to 
contend with a fungoid disease called the " molle " 
that attacks the Mushrooms sometimes so badly 
that the caves have to be abandoned for some time, 
and thoroughly cleaned out. One of the chief causes 
.of trouble, apparently, is the lack of fresh air. It is, 
therefore, of the greatest importance that fires 
should be kept going constantly so that the air in 
remote ends of the tunnels may be kept as pure as 

Tiny black flies, like Pear-midges or mites, often 
find their way into the mushroom caves, and play 
havoc with the crop occasionally. The best way to 
get rid of them is to burn sulphur or brimstone in 
the caves before starting a new crop. 

Preparation of Mushroom Spawn. The spawn used 
by the Parisian grower is quite different in appearance 
from that used in England. Here the spawn is made 
up in solid bricks or cakes, 8 or 9 in. long, 4 or 5 in. 
wide, and about i-J- in. in thickness a fair quantity 
of cow-manure being used in its preparation. In 
Paris, on the other hand, cow-manure is never used 


for making mushroom spawn. Only the best horse- 
manure is used, and bricks or cakes of spawn are much 
looser and lighter than the English ones. 

Almost every grower in Paris prepares his own 
spawn in the following way : In the month of July 
some good manure is turned over a few times until 
it becomes short and crisp, and well heated, just in 
the same condition as for making up mushroom beds. 
A trench about 2 ft. wide and 2 ft. deep is then dug 
out in a shady place generally in some position facing 
north. Some small pieces of spawn are then placed 
about a foot apart in two rows along the bottom of 
the trench thus made, from one end to the other. 
After this the trench is filled up with the prepared 
manure, and this is trodden down firmly with the feet. 
The soil taken out of the trench is now spread over 
the manure in the trench. A piece of board, however, 
is placed near the centre of the trench, before the 
soil is placed on top, and this may be lifted up when 
it is desired to see what progress the spawn is making 
in the manure beneath. Three or four weeks, as a 
rule, are allowed for the spawn to spread throughout 
the manure in the trench. The soil is then removed, 
and the compressed manure, now saturated with the 
mycelium or spawn of the mushrooms, is cut into 
flat cakes. These are spread out in cool, dry, airy 
sheds or barns, on shelves made of battens, where 
they remain until required for use, 

This seems such a simple and clean method of 
preparing mushroom spawn that it is a wonder it is 
not adopted in England. It is, of course, possible that 
as most of our Mushrooms are grown in beds in the 
open air, spawn in horse-manure would not last 


nearly so long in our climate as that prepared with 
the addition of cow-manure. 

Another method of preparing mushroom-spawn has 
been adopted by the Pasteur Institute in Paris. Briefly, 
it consists in developing the spawn or mycelium direct 
from the spores of the mushroom. The best speci- 
mens are selected and placed on sheets of paper. As 
the spores ripen on the " gills," or lamellae, of the 
mushroom, they fall on the surface of the paper, and if 
undisturbed, mark the outline of the mushroom cap. 
Some manure, nicely prepared as described above, 
and a few mushroom spores, are then placed in a test 
tube, the mouth of which is hermetically sealed. The 
tube is placed in a warm stove, the spores germinate 
readily, and in about a fortnight the mycelium threads 
(or spawn) have spread throughout the manure in 
the test tube. " Spawn " obtained in this way has 
been used for the production of Mushrooms, but it 
is said that the results, so far, have not been quite 
so satisfactory as were anticipated. 


Although there are many varieties of Onion (Allium 
Cepa) in cultivation, there is now only one specially 
adapted for intensive cultivation as practised by the 
Parisians market-gardeners, that is, the variety 
known as " Blanc hdtif de Paris'' or " Early White 
Paris." Formerly another variety, the " Jaune des 
Vertus," was extensively cultivated, but has been 
discarded as it is not sufficiently remunerative. 

Seeds are sown in beds about the middle of August. 
If sown earlier, or at least before August 15, in 


Paris, the plants are liable to run to seed instead of 
developing bulbs. The soil should be deeply dug and 
well prepared, and the seeds should be sown fairly 
thickly, after the soil has been pressed down with the 
feet, especially if inclined to be " light " or gritty. 
A good watering should be given after the seeds have 
been worked into the soil with the rake, and a light 
covering of mould has been spread over the surface 
of the seed-bed. This will hasten germination. As 
dry weather often prevails at this period, the seed-bed 
should be watered frequently if necessary, as the 
sprouting seeds would be fatally injured by a spell 
of drought. 

In September or early in October the young plants 
will be ready for pricking out of the seed-bed into 
beds of fine rich and gritty soil. The plants are 
lifted by passing a spade horizontally beneath the 
roots, so that these may not be injured. The best 
seedlings are then selected one by one, and the inferior 
ones are thrown away. A small bunch is made so 
that the baby bulbs are all level. Then the roots are 
cut back within half an inch or so of the bulbs, and the 
leaves also are cut back leaving only 2 or 3 in. 
the whole plant after shortening being only about 
4 in. altogether from one extremity to the other. 
Onions treated in this way are carefully placed in a 
basket with the bulbs lying the same way. When as 
many plants as are required for one day's planting 
have been thus prepared, the basket containing them 
is immersed in water, so that the injured plants may 
be freshened up somewhat. The Parisian gardeners 
carry out this practice with all the plants during hot 
weather, even if it happens to rain. If by chance it 


is not possible to plant all the Onions the same day 
as they have been prepared, they are covered with a 
board on which a fairly heavy weight is placed. This 
is to keep the plants straight ; otherwise they would 
be likely to curl or twist, and this would make it more 
difficult to plant them, and also hinder them becoming 
established quickly afterwards. 

These blanc hdtif or " Early White Onions " are 
at first planted very thickly by market-gardeners, 
who allow little more than i or i in. between 
them. Great care is taken not to plant too deeply, 
about f in. deep being considered quite deep enough 
for all kinds of Onions. If planted much deeper, 
the plants do not develop so freely or so well. Some 
growers plant the young Onions in rows, allowing 
3 or 4 in. from plant to plant. In either case they 
are not allowed to reach their full size, but are sold 
as soon as the bulbs are an appreciable size. In this 
w r ay the Onions are cleared as quickly as possible and 
the soil becomes available for another crop. 

During October seedling Onions may be pricked 
out in the way described, but if the work is not finished 
by the first week in November, it is advisable to leave 
the plants in the seed-beds until the following February, 
as the winter frosts would be almost sure to kill 
transplanted seedlings. 

In the event of severe weather setting in before the 
plants have taken a good hold, it is advisable to protect 
them at night with a sprinkling of straw or litter, 
taking this off as early as possible in the morning. 
About the end of April, or early in May, these autumn 
sown Onions are fit for market, coming into use at the 
same time as the " Ox-Heart " Cabbages (see p. 92). 


If a further supply of early Onions is required, or 
if the rows have to be " made up " where plants of 
the previous sowing have failed, seeds are sown again 
to provide for these contingencies in January and 
February. At this season the seeds are sown on hot- 
beds under lights, or under cloches, and sometimes 
between other crops. The plants will be ready some- 
what later than those sown in August, but they will 
make a good succession crop. 

Many growers also sow seeds of the " Early White " 
(blanc hdtif) Onion at intervals from February to 
June in the open air. The beds are dug, manured, 
and prepared in the usual way, and after the seeds 
have been sown a layer of nice rich mould is spread 
over the surface of each bed. When the Onions appear 
they are " thinned out " in due course, if too thick. 
Afterwards they are watered well from time to time 
when necessary, according to the state of the weather. 
As soon as the young bulbs begin to swell, they are 
almost ready for pulling, as it does not pay to leave 
them to mature on ground for which high rents have 
to be paid. An excellent little Onion for spring sowing 
is the blanc tres hdtif de la Reine (Early White Queen). 
When sown in March it is ready in May, but as it is 
little more than an inch when fully developed, it is 
grown more in private than in market gardens. 


There are now many varieties of small Radishes 
(Raphanus sativus) suitable for cultivation either in 
the open air or on hot-beds with other crops. They 
vary in colour from the purest white to the deepest 
crimson, passing through light and dark rose, and 


almost scarlet. Growers for market, however, gener- 
ally confine themselves to a few well-established 
varieties. For early crops the Turnip or Round red 
forms known to us as " Forcing Scarlet " Radishes- 
are favoured (fig. 54). These are followed with the 
" French Breakfast " and white-tipped kinds (fig. 55), 
and after these it really matters little which variety is 

The first sowing of Radishes is made about the 
middle of September. Raised sloping beds are pre- 


pared as described at p. 12, and the seeds are then 
sown broadcast and covered with about an inch of 
fine gritty soil. At night-time if frosts are likely to 
occur, mats or litter are placed over the beds for 
protection, and taken off each morning as early as 
possible. Radishes from this sowing are generally 
fit to pull about the end of November or early in 

In December Radishes (round red varieties) are 
sown under lights on nicely prepared soil, and often 
among other crops such as Carrots, Cauliflowers, 
Lettuces, and Leeks all of which require air to be 
given in the same way as the Radishes. 


When sown with other crops, it is better to sow 
Radishes in little patches between them rather than 
broadcast. Each little patch will yield a dozen or 
two of Radishes, which, as they develop rapidly, do 
not harm either Carrots, Lettuces, or Cauliflowers. 

Early in February, or at the end of January, 
Radishes are sown again on open beds i.e. beds not 
covered with lights. These beds are made up of 


manure 12 to 15 in. deep, on the surface of which 
about 4 in. of fine mould is spread. The seeds are 
covered with about an inch of soil, and mats or litter 
are afterwards spread over them to hasten germination. 
After this, as much light as possible must be given, 
but if frost is anticipated at night, the beds must be 
protected with mats or litter. The Rose variety with 
white tips, " French Breakfast," and the " Early Red 
Scarlet " are the best varieties for sowing on beds. 

At this period thick sowings of Radishes may also 
be made on warm sheltered borders, and protected 
from frosts with mats or litter when necessary. Sowings 


in the open air may be made fortnightly until about 
the middle of September or October according to 
the season. It is not essential to sow them in beds 
by themselves. The spaces between the rows of 
Lettuces or Cauliflowers may be utilised when these 
plants are still small and not too close together. 

To secure nice Radishes, they should be sown in 
rich moist soil, and during the hot summer days a 
good watering in the morning and in the evening will 
be highly beneficial. As Radishes mature in from 
twenty-five to thirty days after sowing, one may judge 
when they are to be sown on any vacant spaces. 

In sowing Radishes there is one important point to 
bear in mind if nice roots are desired, and that is that 
the seeds should be sown somewhat deeper than most 
other small seeds. In other words, they should be 
covered more thickly with fine mould say about an 
inch thick to encourage them to develop regularly 
and symmetrically. Being embedded in the soil in 
this way the skin retains its colour, and the Radishes 
do not become hard, hot and woody, as they are likely 
to do when the seeds are only slightly covered with soil. 

It is, perhaps, scarcely necessary to mention that 
all early sowings of Radishes in the open air require 
protection from the depredation of birds, by means 
of fish-netting, black cotton or other devices. 

BLACK RADISHES. In the Paris markets a black- 
skinned Radish is frequently seen. The roots are 
something like the pointed " Croissy " Turnip in 
shape, and look as if they had been rolled in dry soot. 
They are about 6 in. long, tapering to a fine tip. 
The two varieties of Black Radish best known are 
" Round Winter " and the " Long Winter." 



Salsafy (Tragopogon porri folium] and Scorzonera 
(Scorzonera hispanica) two members of the Chicory 
and Dandelion family now find their way into the 
English markets in small quantities, and are valued 
chiefly for their long thickish roots. These are white 
in Salsafy and blackish in Scorzonera. The former 
is a biennial, and in growth has long narrow grey- 
green leaves with a whitish midrib, and produces 
violet flowers. Scorzonera, on the other hand, is a 
perennial, has broad lance-shaped oblong leaves, and 
bright yellow flowers. 

Both plants are cultivated in almost precisely the 
same way, and if the soil has been deeply dug and 
well manured in advance, nice shapely roots are 
produced. In March or ApriJ the seeds are sown in 
shallow drills about a foot apart. When the seedlings 
are about 2 in. high, they should be thinned out 
about 4 in. apart. During the season growth is 
encouraged by frequent hoeings and copious supplies 
of water, especially in hot, dry weather. This will 
prevent the Salsafy plants running to seed, and 
thus failing to produce roots. 

About October the roots are lifted, and if stored 
in sand or dry soil will remain fit for use during the 
winter months. As Scorzonera is a hardier plant than 
Salsafy, its roots may be left in the soil, giving pro- 
tection if necessary from severe frosts with litter, etc. 

For market purposes the roots of both Salsafy and 
Scorzonera are tied up into neat bundles. They are 
used in a boiled state, and those of Salsafy are popu- 
larly known as " Vegetable Oyster." 



It is astonishing the amount of Sorrel (Rumex 
Acetosa) that is grown and consumed in Paris. In the 
markets large bundles of bright green leaves are always 
seen, and women are often engaged in picking them 
off and grading them according to size and freshness. 
For over five centuries Sorrel has .been a favourite dish 
with the French, and yet it is scarcely known in British 

There are several varieties, but those with large 
juicy leaves are the best. Those known as " large de 
Belleville" (or " Broad-leaved Belleville "), "Lyons," 
and " blonde de Sarcelles " are grown, as well as 

A variety, however, called " Maiden " or Dutch 
Sorrel (Oseille vierge} has become noteworthy. It is 
supposed to be a form of Rumex montanus instead of 
R. Acetosa, and has large round leaves. As it rarely 
flowers or seeds, the popular name " Maiden " (vierge) 
has been given to it. It grows in strong tufts and 
continues to produce luscious leaves for many years. 
It is generally propagated by dividing the tufts, while 
the other kinds of Sorrel are raised from seeds when 

Early Sorrel can only be secured by forcing estab- 
lished clumps in hot-beds. These are prepared early 
in November, with a temperature of 55 to 60 Fahr. 
After placing the frames in position a couple of inches 
of mould is spread over the surface. The Sorrel plants 
are then lifted from the open ground with a fork, and 
after the crowns have been cleaned from old leaves 



and stems, they are placed side by side in the frames, 
putting the larger or taller clumps near the top, and 
the smaller or shorter at the bottom. Some fine 
rich gritty mould is then worked in between and 
slightly over the crowns, and is settled down with a 
gentle watering. After growth commences all that 
is necessary is to give occasional moistenings with 
tepid water, and ventilation according to the state of 
the weather. 

When the leaves are large enough they should be 
picked by hand every third or fourth day the largest 
always being picked first. About eight days after 
placing in the hot-bed, the plants commence to yield, 
and will continue to produce tender leaves for a month 
or six weeks, according to their vigour. When the 
plants cease to develop leaves they may be thrown 
away ; others are then lifted and placed in their 

Another method of obtaining early Sorrel is to force 
the plants where they are growing instead of lifting 
them and placing in hot-beds. The Sorrel is planted 
in beds wide enough to take the lights and frames 
generally in use. The plantation should have been 
made originally in deeply dug or trenched and heavily 
manured soil. As a rule each Sorrel bed has five 
rows of plants the two outer ones being about 6 in. 
from the margins and the others equidistant from 
each other. 

In the first half of November the plants are cleared 
of old leaves and stems, and the frames are placed 
over them. About half an inch of rich gritty soil is 
then spread uniformly over the crowns, and well 
watered in before the lights are put on. 


The pathways between the beds are afterwards dug 
out 8 to 10 in. deep, the soil being placed at the end 
of the rows until it is again required. The trenches 
thus made in the pathways are filled with three parts 
of fresh manure to one part of old manure or leaves. 
The heat generated from the manure in the pathways 
causes the Sorrel plants to grow, and forcing has 
commenced. Watering with tepid water occasionally, 
and giving more or less air according to the state of 
the weather, constitute the principal points to which 
attention must be given. 

About fifteen or eighteen days after the manure has 
been placed between the frames, leaves will be ready 
to pick and will continue to appear for about two 
months. Sorrel beds forced in this way will give a 
fair yield the second year, but afterwards the plants 
.do not possess sufficient vitality to give a reasonable 

When the crop is finished, the manure is removed 
from the trenches, and these are refilled with the 
soil taken from them at first, after which the frames 
and lights are used for other purposes, and the Sorrel 
bed is again open to the air. 


Seakale (Crambe maritima) the " Chou mar in " of 
the French growers although now so extensively 
cultivated by market-gardeners in England for the 
blanched leaf-stalks, is curiously enough not yet a 
great article of commerce in France, owing probably 
to the difficulty in securing sufficiently large tracts of 
land, that are so necessary to raise a quantity of 


plants for forcing purposes. The English method of 
cultivation may be briefly described as follows : 

An open sunny situation is essential, and the 
soil for Seakale should be trenched 2 to 3 ft. deep 
in autumn and be heavily manured. Planting is 
usually done early in March. Pieces of the thick roots 
4 in. to 6 in. long, called ' thongs ' by gardeners, are 
cut from the old root-stalks in March, and are planted 
12 in. apart in rows ij to 2 ft. apart. This operation 
may be performed annually ; but if plants are to 
remain for a few years in the same place, it will be 
necessary to give more space so as to permit the free 
use of the hoe or fork between the rows, and also to 
afford more air and light. Instead of raising plants 
from cuttings of the roots in this way, seeds may also 
be sown in drills i4- to 2 ft. apart, afterwards thinning 
the seedlings out so as to leave about a foot between 
each plant, In autumn, when the large grey-green 
wavy leaves have decayed, it may be advisable to cover 
the crowns with a little heap of ashes or sand, or litter. 

Blanching. This operation consists in excluding 
the light from the young shoots when they commence 
to grow in spring. 

A box, large pot, hand-light, or even a heap of 
leaves placed over each crown will serve the purpose 
in the open air, but ashes or sand over the crowns 
should be removed first. When the shoots are long 
enough, a little light may be given just to give a tinge 
of colour to the tips. Where one has a warm green- 
house or moist hot-bed, the roots may be lifted from 
December to February, and placed in the warmth 
and in the dark. In this way blanched shoots can 
be secured very early in the season. 


Market-gardeners in England commence forcing Sea- 
kale from the end of October till the end of February. 
The best and earliest crowns are first selected and 
planted side by side in beds 4 to 5 ft. across, and 
heated underneath by hot -water pipes. The roots are 
embedded in the soil to the tops, and after planting 
receive a good drenching with water to settle the 
soil round them. They are afterwards covered with 
clean strawy litter to a depth of 12 or 18 in., and 
in severe weather mats are placed overhead on cross- 
bars. From fourteen to twenty-one days according 
to the time of year are required to produce the 
leaf-stalks. The litter is then taken off, and all the 
crowns that are ready are taken from the bed, and 
prepared for market. As soon as one set of crowns 
is finished, others are ready to take their place, and 
thus a constant supply is kept up till the plants forced 
in the open air begin to yield. 

French growers plant the Seakale roots in beds 
the same width as the frames generally in use for 
forcing Carrots, Radishes, Lettuces, etc. The beds 
are thus 4 ft. 5 in. wide, and have an alley or path- 
way between them. Five furrows about 4 in. deep 
are drawn, and the plants are placed in them at the 
end of March or early in April, the two outer rows 
being about 7 or 8 in. from the margin. This allows 
about twenty-five " crowns " to each light. After 
planting, the crowns are freely watered when necessary, 
and the soil which had been drawn up in little 
rdges when making the furrows or drills is gradually 
washed down, and eventually covers the crowns. 
Towards the end of June or early in July the 
waterings cease, as the plants will be then established 



and well furnished with their large wavy grey-green 

About the end of October or early in November, 
the dead and dying leaves are removed, and the beds 
are cleaned up and hoed lightly, preparatory to having 
the frames placed over them. The pathways are also 
dug out 10 or 12 in. deep, some of the soil being placed 
in the frames for " earthing up " the Seakale crowns, 
the remainder being placed close at hand for filling 
the trenches after the forcing is finished. 

When the temperature in the frames falls to 60 
Fahr., the trenches between the frames are filled with 
good manure. Each crown is covered with a heap of 
soil about 6 to 7 in. deep, and the entire portion to be 
forced is covered with dry leaves or straw to hasten 
vegetation. About a month afterwards the first 
shoots may be cut, taking care to sever each one about 
half an inch above the " collar " of the plant. A 
second crop may be secured from the same plants by 
covering the crowns again, and treating in the same 
way. After the second forcing the crowns are of 
little use, and should be destroyed. The frames and 
old manure are then removed, and the pathways are 
filled up again with soil. 

Another method of forcing Seakale is to lift the 
plants in October or November, and place them side 
by side on a manure bed giving a heat of 60 to 65 
Fahr., which has been covered with about 6 in. 
of mould before the frames are placed on it. About 
sixty-four crowns are thus forced under each light, 
and the frames are " lined " with manure in the 
way described above, to secure a steady temperature. 
The plants are given a gentle watering after some 


nice rich sandy mould has been worked in between 
them, and also over them to a depth of 2 or 3 in. 
A covering with straw, leaves, or litter completes 
the work, and shoots may be cut at the end of 
eighteen or twenty days. 

Seakale may also be forced in warm cellars at the 
same period. The crowns are lifted, cleaned, and 
planted on a few inches of rich mould, and are after- 
wards covered 2 or 3 in. deep with the same 
compost. More or less water is necessary, according 
to the dryness or humidity of the atmosphere, and 
at the end of three or four weeks shoots will be 
ready for cutting. 


The Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) is an annual plant, 
native of Persia, whence it was introduced to Spain 
in the middle of the sixteenth century by the Arabs. 
According as to whether the seeds (really the " fruits ") 
are "prickly" or "smooth," two distinct kinds of 
Spinach are recognised, each with several varieties 
all highly valued for their soft bright green leaves. 

At one time French gardeners used to grow Spinach 
on hot-beds, on which young plants were pricked out 
about 4 in. apart in November, so as to be ready for 
gathering from December to March. This system of 
forced cultivation is, however, no longer adopted or 
rarely practised. I have, however, seen young plants 
lifted from the open ground in February or early in 
March. All the leaves were cut off, and the plants 
thus mutilated were placed in frames between Gotte 
Lettuces that were nearing maturity on the top of 


Early Carrots. Spinach grown in this way branches 
out a good deal, and produces fine foliage in about 
three weeks after planting. The entire plant is 
pulled up when ready, and is fit for sale when the 
roots have been cut off. It realises a much higher 
price than open-air Spinach at the same period. 

About the middle of August seeds of the variety 
known as " Monstrous Viroflay " may be sown on 
nicely prepared, but not deeply dug, soil, either in 
drills, 9 to 12 in. apart and about 2 in. deep, or 
" broad-cast " at the rate of about i Ib. of seed to 
160 square yards or a little over 5 poles or " rods " 
of ground. After sowing, the soil should be trodden 
down firmly and raked over. To hasten germination, 
a good watering may be given, especially if the soil 
is inclined to be dry, or the seeds may have been 
soaked in water three or four times before sowing. 
Under favourable conditions Spinach leaves may be 
picked from this first sowing about the end of Sep- 
tember, taking care that only the largest leaves at the 
bottom are picked first, and by hand. 

Another sowing of Spinach may be made in October 
for gathering in spring, using the varieties known as 
" Flanders "or " Prickly Long Standing " on this 

Some growers sow Spinach in December amongst 
Carrots in frames, picking the leaves with care when 

About the middle of February Spinach may be 
sown at intervals of two or three weeks, until the 
end of July. The early sowings should be made on 
warm sunny borders, while the later ones in summer 
are best on north borders, or between rows of other 


vegetables which will shade them from strong sun- 

If the plants show signs of running to seed during 
the summer months, they are best destroyed, and 
replaced with other crops. 

The chief care with Spinach is to give the plants 
plenty of water, either morning or evening, during 
dry weather. 


Turnips (Brassica napus) are now grown as a forced 
or " primeur " crop on hot-beds more than formerly. 
Early in January a bed is made up to give a tem- 
perature about 70 to 80 Fahr. The surface is then 
covered with a layer, about 7 or 8 in. thick, of rich 
mould, made up of two parts of old manure and one 
part of rich loamy soil passed through a sieve. 

The seeds are usually sown neither broad-cast nor 
in drills, but in small holes made in the compost with 
the finger. About every 6 in. a hole i in. deep 
is made with the finger, and into each one or two Turnip 
seeds are dropped making about eighty to one 
hundred to every light. 

The surface is then levelled with a piece of wood 
and lightly watered, after which mats are spread 
over the lights until germination has taken place 
generally in four or five days. 

As soon as the first leaves after the seed-leaves have 
developed, the young Turnips must be thinned out, 
so that only one plant is left in each little hole. About 
a month or six weeks after sowing, that is, about the 
middle of February, the lights are taken away to 



place over a second sowing of Turnips. The first 
crop must then be protected during the night with 
mats thrown over the frames. If, however, the 
weather at this period is very severe, it is safer to leave 
the lights some time longer until all danger is over. 

To ensure active growth in the frames, the young 
Turnips should be watered frequently almost every 
day and at the same time abundance of air must 
be given on all favourable occa- 
sions by tilting up the lights on 
the leeward side. 

In about seven or eight weeks 
after sowing the seeds, and treat- 
ing as above described, the young 
Turnips are fit to pull. 

About the middle of February 
another sowing of Turnips may 
be made on a somewhat cooler 
bed than the first crop, and in 
the same way. If the weather is 
favourable, the lights from the 
first crop may now be taken off, 
and placed over the second just sown. These lights 
in turn are taken off the second crop in due course 
and placed over the third sowing of Turnips. 

A fourth sowing of Turnips may be made about the 
middle of April on the bed from which the second 
crop has been gathered, the same set of lights being 
used for protection successively. It will be noted 
that only two different beds are used for the four crops. 
When these are cleared, the beds may be utilised 
for the culture of Melons. 

Making holes with the finger is rather a primitive 

FIG. 56. " MARTEAU " 


method, and has been discarded by some growers. 
These have a frame made exactly the size of each 
light. As many cross-pieces as there are to be rows 
of Turnips are fixed to these frames, and in each 
cross-piece as many pegs are fixed as there are to be 
Turnips in a row. All that is necessary is to press 
the frame with the pegs downwards upon the pre- 


pared soil, and each peg makes a hole in which the 
Turnip seeds are then sown. 

The variety of Turnip favoured by the Parisian 
grower is called " Marteau " or " Half -long Vertu " 
(fig. 56), owing to its quick growth and excellent 
quality. It is the variety par excellence for the first 
early crops, and Parisian gardeners have made 
thousands of pounds by its cultivation. The " Half- 
long White Forcing " Turnip (fig. 57) is also an early 
variety well suited for frame culture. " Red Flat 


Milan " and " White Flat Milan " are suitable either 
for early crops under lights or for later crops in the 
open air. 

One of the most popular Turnips for market is the 
" Long Vertu " or " Pointed Croissy," of which 
large quantities are sold in the Paris markets during 
the summer months. Indeed, it was the only variety 
I saw in the market in August. 



UNDER ordinary circumstances it would be more 
convenient to commence a calendar of operations in 
January. With intensive methods of cultivation, 
however, it is somewhat different. The month of 
August is generally recognised as the beginning of 
the cultural year for the intensive cultivator, hence 
it is, therefore, more convenient to begin the calendar 
in this volume at that period. 

Under each month in the year from August in one 
year to July in the following the principal operations, 
as detailed in the preceding pages, have been noted 
briefly, merely as reminders to the grower what ought 
to be done in each month. It is important that seeds 
should be sown, pricked out, or transplanted at the 
proper time, otherwise the crops may mature too 
late to be of any particular value, especially to the 
commercial grower. Although Paris is somewhat 
farther south than London by about 3 degrees, there 
is really very little difference in the climatic con- 
ditions. As temperature, however, is an all-important 
point in gardening, and especially when conducted 



on intensive principles, it has occurred to me that it 
might be useful to the grower to have some idea of 
the average temperature of the air and the soil for 
each month of the year. I have, accordingly, ex- 
tracted this information from Lindley's Theory and 
Practice of Horticulture, the figures given being those 
taken for ten consecutive years in the Royal Horti- 
cultural Society's late Gardens at Chiswick some years 
ago. The mean air temperatures at Paris have 
also been included for the purpose of comparison. 
It will, of course, be remembered that places farther 
north or south than London will have different mean 
temperatures, and it would be well for growers to find 
them out and place them in a conspicuous place in 
their gardens for future reference. So far as the 
rainfall is concerned, there is very little difference 
between that of Paris and London the average 
rainfall in the former being about 23 in., and 25 in. in 
the latter. Here again, of course, great variation is 
to be found, as more rain generally falls on the western 
side of Great Britain than on the eastern. 

By the kindness and courtesy of the authorities 
at the Observatory Department of the National 
Physical Laboratory at Kew, I am enabled to give 
below the meteorological averages of Rainfall, Sun- 
shine, and Temperature which have been extracted 
from the records by permission of the Meteorological 
Council. These figures may serve for comparison 
with observations made in other parts of the kingdom. 

From these figures it will be seen that the popular 
expression " February fill dyke " is by no means 
accurate, as February and March are generally the 
driest months in the year. At Ealing the average 



rainfall for forty years has been 25-39 in., although 
in 1908 there was as much as 27*34 in. And during 
the past three years, 1906, 1907, 1908, there have 
been 248, 240, and 242 dry days respectively. 


Average in inches 
for 35 years, 

Average in hours 
for 25 years, 

Average for 35 
years, 1871-1905. 



4 J '3 

38-9 F. 








4 2.I 



J 47'4 





52. 3 








62. 4 








56. 7 




49 .o 









Yearly Means 

and Total 

24-087 in. 

1457-9 hrs. 

49-3 F. 


Mean temperature of Soil at i ft. deep, 6i.8o. Air, 6i.28 
(Paris 65). 

Cabbages. Seeds of "Ox Heart " may be sown 
on old hot-beds or on borders for succession. 

Carrots. A small sowing of " Early Paris Forcing " 
may be made on old beds, or on warm borders for 
winter use. 

Cauliflowers. Sow seeds of " Lenormand " and 
" Early Erfurt," afterwards pricking seedlings out 


under lights. Cauliflowers nearing maturity should 
be kept growing freely by copious waterings and 
frequent use of the hoe. Keep a watch on cater- 

Corn Salad. Sow early in the month ; afterwards 
at intervals of three or four weeks till the end of 
October for succession crops if necessary. 

Endives. Those planted out at end of June should 
now be ready for tying up. They require plenty of 
water during hot weather. The " Green Batavian " 
Endive should now be planted out. 

Lettuces. Cos and Cabbage varieties sown in July 
should be ready for planting under cloches about the 
end of the month one Cos lettuce and three Cabbage 
Lettuces under each cloche. 

The " Passion " and " Black Gotte " varieties of 
Cabbage Lettuces should now be sown for early 
supplies. The seedlings should be pricked out under 
lights or cloches when ready. 

Spinach. Winter Spinach should be sown in the 
open borders early in the month. 

Turnips. Seed should be sown to yield nice roots 
in October and November. 

Hot-beds. Manure for these should be prepared 
and turned over, and old Melon beds should be cleaned 


Mean temperature of Soil at i ft. deep, 57. 54. Air, 56. 14 
(Paris 60). 

Cauliflowers. Sow seeds of " Dwarf Early Erfurt " 
about the middle of the month, and prick out seedlings 
in other beds in October when large enough. The 


plants from these must be wintered in frames, and 
will be ready for planting amongst Carrots in March 

Leeks sown in May, and transplanted in July, 
will be ready during this month. 

Lettuces. The Cos or Romaine varieties are sown 
under cloches and will be ready for pricking out in early 

Cabbages. Another sowing may be made of " Ox 

Corn Salad, Turnips, Carrots, and Radishes may also 
be sown the last named on warm sheltered borders. 

Onions sown in August will be ready for pricking 
out preparatory to the final planting in October. 

Endives. Seeds of " Ruifec " and " Green Batavian " 
may be sown to be pricked out under cloches in 


Mean temperature of the Soil at I ft. deep, 5i.52. Air, 49-35 
(Paris 48). 

Lettuces. The small kinds, if sown early in the 
month, will be ready for cutting about February. 
" Passion " Lettuces sown this month may be pricked 
out and grown on under cloches or in frames till 
January, and then planted out. 

Lettuces sown in August will be ready for planting 
early this month, if not at end of September, on raised 
sloping beds under cloches. 

About the middle of the month, Lettuces (Cos and 
Cabbage varieties) may be sown for early forced crops. 
The kinds for this sowing should be " Black Gotte," 
" Passion," and " Blonde Paresseuse." 



Cabbages, " Ox Heart." Seedlings will now be ready 
early in October for pricking out, so as to be ready 
for planting on warm sheltered borders by the middle 
of November. 

Endives planted out in open-air beds in July will 
be ready this month. Plants from the September 
sowing should be pricked out under cloches. 

Corn Salad may be sown in the open air. 

Asparagus. Crowns two or three years old should 
be taken up before the frost, and placed on hot-beds 
for forcing (see p. 76). 

Radishes may be sown on warm sheltered borders 
early in the month. In the event of frost it would 
be well to cover with lights or protect with straw or 


Mean temperature of the Soil at i //. deep 46. 01. Air, 42. 89 
(Paris 44). 

Lettuces, " Small Black Gotte." The young plants 
from seeds sown in August will be ready for planting 
on hot-beds by the middle of this month. Others 
will be ready for pricking out under cloches. 

Cabbages. About the middle of the month young 
plants of " Ox Heart " sown in August will be ready 
for planting out 18 in. apart on warm borders, having 
been already pricked out of seed-beds early in October. 

Cauliflowers grown under cloches or lights should 
be protected with mats at night in case of frost. 

Celery should be protected against frost with litter 
or bracken. 

Carrots " Grelot " or " Early Forcing Horn " may 


be sown about the end of the month on hot-beds, and 
amongst them thirty or thirty-six Cabbage Lettuces 
(" Black Gotte ") may be planted under each light. 

Radishes are often sown in these lights after planting 
the Lettuces. They grow quickly and are gathered 
before they interfere with either the Lettuces or the 

Spinach should be sown about the middle of the 
month under lights. The " Flanders " variety will 
resist the cold well. 

Ventilation. The cloches and lights under which 
" Passion " Lettuces are grown must be ventilated 
as freely as possible to prevent the leaves decaying. 


-Mean temperature of Soil at i ft. deep, 4i.i3. Air, 38.I4 
(Paris 41). 

Lettuces. At end of month the beds which have 
carried " Black Gotte " Lettuces are turned over, and 
some fresh manure is added previous to making up 
for another crop. 

The ground for " Passion " Lettuces in the open 
should be deeply dug, and after levelling and raking 
may be covered with a layer of old manure. The 
Lettuces should be planted about the end of January. 

Cabbages. Seedlings that have not been pricked 
out will be left in beds until February, but should be 
protected against hard frosts with a little straw, litter, 
or bracken when necessary. 

Carrots may be sown on all hot-beds in which Cos 
Lettuces or Cabbage Lettuces are to be planted. 

Cloches. At this season one Cos Lettuce (grise 


maratchere) and three Cabbage Lettuces (" Black 
Gotte ") may be grown under each glass on the 

Radishes may also be thinly sown just after planting 
the Lettuces. 

Manure. The old manure which is to be used for 
covering the beds next season should be got into 
ridges about 3 ft. high and 10 ft. apart, and fresh 
manure may be wheeled in between them for the 
formation of the beds. 


Mean temperature of the Soil at i //. deep, 40. 07. Air, 38. 21 
(Paris 41). 

Asparagus. Seeds may be sown on hot-beds about 
the middle of the month. Crowns two or three years 
old may be forced in the way described at p. 76. 

Cabbages. Any young plants that have been 
frosted should be covered with straw or litter to 
prevent quick thawing, which often does great harm 
to the plants. 

Carrots. Sow " Early Forcing Horn " with Radishes 
on beds that are to be planted with Lettuces. 

Cauliflowers. Seeds of " Lenormand " or " Second 
Early Paris " may be sown to produce plants for 
putting between the Cos Lettuces later on. 

Cucumbers. Sow seeds about the end of the month. 

Lettuces. The white-leaved " Passion " raised from 
seeds sown in October should be ready for planting 
in the open air in mild weather about the end of the 
month, or sooner, to be ready in April or May. Before 
planting, seeds of " French Breakfast Radishes " may 


be sown on the same soil. " Black Gottes " may be 
planted on the top of beds in which Radishes and 
Carrots are sown. 

Any Lettuces attacked with mildew should be 
removed and burned. Clean healthy plants should fill 
the vacant places and have a little flowers of sulphur 
strewed round them. 

Melons. Seeds of the " Cantaloup " varieties should 
be sown about the end of the month, to have fruits 
in May and June. 

Radishes. Seeds of " French Breakfast " kinds and 
" Early Forcing Horn " Carrots may be sown in beds 
on which " Gotte " Lettuces are to be planted. 

Spinach. An early supply may be obtained by sow- 
ing on hot-beds during the month. 

Tomatoes. Seeds may be sown to produce plants 
for putting under cloches in May. 

Protection. Frames and cloches must be protected 
from frost with mats at night, and fresh manure must 
be added if necessary to keep up the temperature. 


Mean temperature of the Soil at I //. deep, 39-74- Air t 38.42 
(Paris 38). 

Lettuces. Look over the plants in frames and 
remove old or decaying leaves regularly. Others may 
be planted under cloches one Cos Lettuce in the 
centre of three Cabbage Lettuces. The bed holds 
nine rows (see p. 162). 

Melons. Seeds of " Cantaloup Prescott fond blanc " 
may be sown again. When large enough transfer each 
seedling to a 3-in. pot in nice rich loam. 



Endives. Sow the " Rouen " variety about the 
middle of the month on a hot-bed, afterwards pricking 
out the little plants in another bed, and eventually 
transferring to cold frames or cloches when ready 
early in April. " Paris Green Curled " (or La Parisi- 
enne) is another good variety for sowing at this season. 

Cauliflowers. About middle of month make a 
sowing on hot-bed to have young plants to put under 
cloches in March. 

Cabbages. Seeds may be sown on hot-beds in the 
latter half of the month to produce plants in suc- 
cession to those sown in August or September. 
Plants from the autumn sowing should be planted out 
after the middle of the month. 

Turnips. Sow early in the month on old Lettuce 
beds that have been re-made. The half-long or 
" Marteau " variety is recommended at this season 
by French growers, but " Early Snowball " or other 
English varieties would probably yield excellent 

Radishes. Sow again on beds carrying Lettuces or 
Carrots. Sow also in the open air in warm sheltered 

Spinach. Sow at intervals of two or three weeks 
from the middle of the month in the open air. 

Celery and Celeriac. Sow seeds at end of month 
or early in March. 

Mats. In January, February, and March, when 
the mats are taken off the lights or cloches in the 
morning, they should be stood on edge and spread 
out against walls and fences to drain and dry if they 
have been soaked with rain during the night. 



Mean temperature of Soil at i ft. deep, 40. 96. Air, 4O.49 
(Paris 42). 

Lettuces. Cos varieties may be planted in the hot- 
beds. In beds sown with Radishes, Lettuces, and 
Carrots in January, the Radishes will have been all 
gathered by this time, leaving only the Lettuces and 
Carrots. " Passion " Lettuces in frames must be 
well ventilated both day and night. 

Melons. Young plants will be ready for planting in 
frames at end of this month, and should have the 
main shoot stopped beyond the second leaf as early 
as possible. 

Cauliflowers. Sow seeds of "Lenormand" for 
growing in old hot-beds in the open during the 
summer months. Cauliflowers from seeds raised about 
the middle of last September, and pricked out in 
October, should now be planted on the hot-beds 
containing Carrots. They may also be planted in 
beds with Cabbage Lettuces and Spinach or Radishes. 

Protection. Mats must be placed over cloches and 
frames at night when frost is anticipated. They 
should not be removed in morning until after the 
thaw has set in. 

Cucumbers. Seeds of long green varieties may be 
sown between the middle of March and middle of 
April, to be ready for final planting about the end of 

Carrots. The last sowing of " Half-long " varieties 
on hot-beds is made early this month, also under 
cloches, and in the open borders. Radishes may be 
sown at same time amongst those on hot-beds. 


Leeks. Sow in open air (see p. 141). 

Spinach. Sowings may be made between other 
crops such as Lettuces (Cos and Cabbage), Endives, 
Cabbages, etc., or in separate beds. 

Sorrel may be sown during the spring and summer 
to keep up a supply of leaves. 

Cabbages. Sow for summer and autumn crops in 
the open air, and hoe between the Ox-Heart varieties 
in the open air. 

Onions. Early in the month seedlings that were 
not disturbed in the beds should be planted out. 

Turnips. The lights should be taken off these on 
all fine days and even at night if no frosts are feared. 
Mats should be handy for covering in case of sudden 

Dandelions. Seeds may be sown now and at 
intervals until June to produce plants for autumn and 
winter salads. 


Mean temperature of the Soil at i ft, deep, 46. 47. Air, 46. 57 
(Paris 48). 

Cauliflowers. After the first batch of Lettuces under 
cloches have been cleared, and the glasses have been 
moved over the other rows (as explained at p. 163), 
Cauliflowers may be planted in the places left vacant 
by the Cos Lettuces. 

Cauliflowers from seeds sown in September may be 
planted in the open air about 2 to 2\ ft. apart 
(see p. 113). 

Cabbages. By the end of this month the " Ox 


Heart " varieties sown last August will now be ready 
for cutting. Those sown in February will be ready 
for planting out about the middle of the month. 

Lettuces. The " Passion " variety, planted in 
January, will now be nearing maturity, and the space 
between each plant may be filled with a Cauliflower. 
The frames and lights may be taken away altogether 
from these crops, if necessary, about the end of the 
month, and used for a second crop of Melons. 

Melons. Those already in frames require careful 
ventilation each day when the weather is fine. Seeds 
should be sown each week to have plants ready later 
on for the beds as they become vacant. 

Celery. Make a sowing early in April, and prick 
out 3 in. apart in May on an old hot-bed. These are 
to follow Cauliflowers. Young Celery plants may now 
be placed in frames, from which Turnips, Radishes, 
and Carrots have been gathered. 

Lettuces. The Cos varieties grown on hot-beds will 
require attention. As the earlier plants are nearing 
maturity, the cloches covering them should be removed 
to cover the plants next in order of ripening, as ex- 
plained at p. 163. 

Carrots. During this month attention must be given 
to weeding and thinning out, as the plants grow quickly. 
If necessary, the frames may be raised 2 or 3 in. by 
placing bricks or blocks of wood at corners, but manure 
should be previously banked up round frames to 
prevent soil from falling down afterwards. 

Celeriac. The young plants from seeds sown at end 
of February or early in March will be ready for pricking 
out on south borders or on an old hot-bed. 



Mean temperature of Soil at I ft. deep, 53. n. Air, 53. 54 
(Paris 58). 

Lettuces. The last of the plants placed under cloches 
in February will be ready this month. The first crop 
will be ready for pulling. 

" Passion " Lettuces grown in cold frames or on 
warm borders will be ready for cutting. 

Endives. If the weather is mild and moist, Endives 
may be planted in the open ; and another sowing of 
" Rouen " may be made on a hot-bed. 

Cauliflowers. These may be planted on the edges 
of old beds that have borne a crop of Cos Lettuces. 
Cauliflowers in frames with Carrots must be ventilated 
both day and night, to harden them off. They must 
be regularly watered. Early in the month the frames 
and lights over these should be removed for Melons, 
if the weather is fine. 

Tomatoes may be planted out under cloches this 
month (see p. 61). 

Melons. Prepare trenches 2 ft. wide and i ft. deep, 
and fill with two-thirds dry and one-third fresh 
manure for making Melon beds. These are covered 
with soil from trench in next bed. When Melons are 
planted, the lights are placed on frames and kept close 
and shaded for a few days (see p. 172). Early in the 
month a final sowing of "Cantaloup Prescott" and 
" Kroumir" may be made. 

Watering. This is an important operation. Abund- 
ance must be given to Melons well set in fruit, and also 
to Cauliflowers showing heads. 

Leeks. Make a sowing of " Long Winter Paris " to 


be planted out in July in beds where Carrots and 
Cauliflowers have been grown. Water freely and hoe 

Cornichons or Prickly Cucumbers may be sown on 
old hot-beds early in the month (see p. 129). 

Celery. Seeds of the " Blond " variety may be sown 
early in May for autumn use. 

Radishes may still be sown in vacant places on 
beds or in the open air. 

Endives. About the third week in May sowings of 
the fine-leaved and broad-leaved varieties may be 
sown in the open, afterwards intercropping with 
Lettuces. Others maturing should be tied (see p. 139). 

Celeriac. The final planting should be done this 


Mean temperature of Soil at i ft. deep, 60. 02. Air, 60. 45 
(Paris 64). 

Endives. The " Rouen " variety should be planted 
out at end of month on old manure beds. Earlier 
crops will need tying up, and will be ready during the 

The variety called " Ruffec " and " Green Batavian " 
may now be sown on old hot-beds to give a supply in 

Carrots and Cauliflowers will be ready about the 
third or fourth week, and the beds on which they are 
grown may be used for Melons sown in May ; or the 
beds may be planted with Endive or Celery. 

Each morning the Cauliflowers should be examined, 
and those developing heads rapidly should have some 


of the lower leaves detached and placed over them, 
to keep them pure white, otherwise they become 
browned and are not so valuable (see p. 114). 

Cauliflowers and Melons. A sowing of "Lenormand" 
Cauliflowers early in May will produce young plants 
that will be ready for planting among the Melons at 
the end of June about four plants to each light. 

Lettuces. The last of the Cos Lettuces grown in 
frames or under cloches will now be disposed of. 

Melons must be well watered this month, and have 
plenty of air, even at night-time in fine weather. 
Fruits from first crop will be ready by end of month. 

Catch Crops. The beds that have borne Carrots 
and Cauliflowers, and have been prepared for Endive 
or Celery, may have catch crops of Spinach or Break- 
fast Radishes sown on them after the Endive or 
Celery has been planted. 

Cabbages. About the middle of June seeds of Winter 
Cabbages and Savoys may be sown on old beds, the 
seedlings being ready for planting out at the end of 
July if they have been well watered and not sown too 


Mean temperature of Soil at I ft. deep, 62. 85. Air, 63. 40 
(Paris 67). 

Asparagus raised from seeds sown in January will 
be ready for planting out about the middle of July. 
The best plants only should be chosen. 

Carrots, early, and Spinach may be sown as catch- 
crops on beds of other crops, and must be well watered, 
to be ready in October. 


Endives sown in June may now be planted in the 
open-air beds, and will be ready by October. " Ruffec " 
and " Green Batavian " are the best at this period. 

Cauliflowers may be planted in the Endive beds, 
one between every two. 

Celery. When the Cauliflowers that were planted 
in the Carrot beds in March have been cleared, their 
place may be taken by the Celery plants raised in 

Melons must now be watched regularly for the 
ripening of the fruits, and lights may be removed 
altogether if weather is fine. 

Lettuces. Cos and Cabbage varieties may be sown 
in open beds for planting at the end of August. 

Manure. During this month stable manure must 
be obtained in large quantities and stacked into heaps 
(see p. 19). 


Although no two gardens devoted to intensive 
cultivation are exactly alike in shape, size, or system 
of cropping, the diagram overleaf may serve to give 
a fairly good idea as to the lines upon which a French 
garden is generally laid down. In actual practice 
various modifications would naturally be made accord- 
ing to the site and aspect ; and entrances and exits 
would appear at the most convenient spots in the 
fences or hedges. 



Stores Manure ^^-J^" 




















(This quarter may be for open 
beds in alternate years) 











(This quarter may be for open 
beds in alternate years) 






Path & Path 

















(To be occupied by cloches 
in alternate years) 

(To be occupied by frames 
in alternate years) 





















I 1 



* Standpipes for watering (see p. 49). 


Allium Cepa, 185 

Porrum, 139 

Amateur gardeners, a word to, 30 
Annual expenses, 26 

receipts, 26 
Aphides, 166 
Aphis, Black, 178 
Apium graveolens, 115 
April, work for, 216 
Artichokes, Globe, 67 
Asparagus, 68 
- Argenteuil, 84 

beetle, 88 

bunching, 86 

cutting, 86 

diseases and pests of, 88 

forcing, 73, 76 

green, 75 

intercropping between, 70, 80 

open-air culture of, 78 

raising the plants, 68 

rust, 88 

transplanting, 72 

white, 68 
Aubergines, 131 
August, work for, 207 

Barbe de Capucin, 121 
Beans, Dwarf, 89 

French, 89 

Haricot, 89 

Beds, preparing the, 12 
Bell-glasses, 34 

Borders, 8 

sloping, 12 
Brassica Napus, 201 
Brussels Chicory, 122 
Burhill Golf Club, 3 

Cabbages, 92 

Cceur de Boeuf, 93 

Early E*tampes, 93 
Summer, 96 
York, 92 

Express, 93 

Ox-heart, 92 

Plat de Paris, 96 

Pomme de Paris, 93 

St. Denis, 93 

Calendar of operations, 205 
Capillary attraction, 15 
Cardoons, 97 

blanching, 98 
Carrots, 99 

Bellot, 100 

Carentan, Scarlet, 101 

Dutch Horn, 100 

Early Forcing Horn, 100 

first crops of, 102 

French forcing, 100 

Grelot, loo 

Half -long Nantes, 101 

Paris forcing, 100 

Rouge demi-longue Nantaise, 

Forcer Parisienne, 100 




Carrots (contd.) 

Sans Cceur, 101 

Scarlet Horn, 100 

thinning out, 104 

Toupie, 100 
Caterpillars, 114 
Cauliflowers, 104 

Autumn Giant, 106 

Boule de Neige, 105 

covering the heads, 114 

Demi-dur de Paris, 105 

Dwarf Early Erfurt, 105 

Early Dutch, 106 

London, 106 
,, Paris, 105 
Snowball, 105 

Express, 105 

first crops of, no 

Gros Salomon, 1 05 

intercropping between, in 

late crops of, 114 

Lenormand, 105 

Nain hatif d' Erfurt, 105 

Petit Salomon, 105 

pricking out young, 108 

protection, 109 

Second Early Paris, 105 

spring and summer, 112 

succession crops, 113 

transplanting, 108 
Celeriac, 120 
Celeri Rave, 120 
Celery, 115 

blanching, 117 

diseases, 120 

fly, 120 

Turnip-rooted, 120 
Chicoree frisees, 134 
Chicory, 121 

Brussels, 122 
Chou Marin, 195 
Christmas Roses, 64 
Cichorium Endivia, 134 

Cichorium Intybus, 121 
Cloches, 34 

carrier for, 35 

mending, 37 

stacking, 36 

tilts for, 41 

use of, 37 

Cockchafer grubs, 166 
Combination crops, 55 
Commission salesmen, 29 
Cornichons, 129 
Corn Salad, 123 
Cost of maintenance, 24 
Covent Garden of Paris, 129 
Crambe maritima, 195 
Cucumbers, 124 

frame culture of, 125 

insect pests, etc., 130 

open-air culture of, 128 

Prickly, 129 

under cloches, 127 

White, 129 
Cucumis Melo, 167 

sativus, 125 
Cynara Cardunculus, 97 

Scolymus, 67 

Dandelions, 130 
Daucus Carota, 99 
December, work for, 211 
Dwarf Beans, 89 

Eel worms, 130 
Eggplants, 131 
Elater lineatus, 166 
Electric pumps, 14 
Endives, 134 

blanching and tying, 139 

hot-bed culture, 135 

frame culture, 134 

intercropping between, 138 

pricking out, 136 

transplanting, 136 



Engine, gas, 14 
Escaroles, 134 
Evesham gardens, 3 
Expenses of French garden, 25, 

February, work for, 213 
Frames, 32 

tilts for, 40 
French Beans, 89 
French garden at Evesham, 2 
Burhill, 3 
Mayland, 2 

,, Thatcham, 3 

cost of a, 24 
plan of a, 222 
site for a, 7 
work in a, 6 
French system, extension of, 39 

Gas engines, 14 
Germination of seeds, 50 
Globe Artichokes, 67 
Greenfly, 166 
Ground, planning out the, u 

Handbarrows, 43 
Haricot Beans, 89 
Helleborus niger, 64 
History of intensive cultivation, 


Hotbeds, making, 20 
width of, 21 

Implements and accessories, 32 

miscellaneous, 45 
Intensive cultivation, i 

history of, 4 

Intercropping between- 
Asparagus, 70, 80 

Aubergines, 132 

Cardoons, 98 

Carrots, 103 

Cauliflowers, in, 113 

Intercropping between (contd. ) 
Celery, 119 
Egg Plants, 132 
Endives, 138 
Lettuces, 152 
Radishes, 189 

January, work for, 212 
July, work for, 229 
June, work for, 219 

Lactuca capita ta, 143 

sativa, 142 
Lamb's Lettuce, 123 
Leeks, 139 
Lettuces, 142 

All the Year Round(Cabbage), 

Blonde maraichere (Cos), 158 

Brown Champagne (Cabbage), 

Cabbage, 143 

Red, 154 
Cos, 158 

Dwarf Frame, 160 
Green Paris Market, 160 
Crepe (Cabbage), 143 

culture of, 145 
diseases and pests, 166 
Dwarf Frame Cos, 160 
George (Cabbage), 153 
Gotte (Cabbage), 143, 151 
Green Paris Market Cos, 160 
Grise (Cabbage), 156 

maraichere (Cos), 159 
Grosse brune paresseuse (Cab- 
bage), 144, 156 
Hammersmith Green Winter 

(Cabbage), 157 
Intercropping between, 152 
Large Winter White (Cab- 
bage), 157 
mildew on, 166 




Lettuces (contd.} 

Morine (Cabbage), 157 
Palatine (Cabbage), 154 
Paris Market (Cos), 160 
Passion (Cabbage), 145, 157 
Plate a Cloches (Cos), 160 
pricking out, 146 
Petite noire (Cabbage), 143, 

J 45 

Romaines, 158 
shading, 159 
spring, 161 

summer and autumn, 164 
tying Cos, 165 
Verte maraichere (Cos), 159, 

1 60 

Winter Cabbage, 145, 156 
Red Cabbage, 157 
Lights, 33 

Manure basket, 43 

heap, treatment of, 18 
stand, 44 
Manures, 17 

artificial, 1 8 
Maraichers, i 
March, work for, 215 
Marketing, 28 
Markets in Paris, 57 
Marrows, Vegetable, 62 
Mats, 38 

frame for making, 39 
May, work for, 218 
Melolontha vulgaris, 166 
Melons, 167 

canker of, 178 

Cantaloup, 167 

Chypre, 1 76 

culture of, 168 

Early Frame, 167 

diseases of, 177 

Kroumir, 176 

late crops of, 175 

Melons (contd.} 

nuile of, 177 

pinching of, 171, 173 

planting, 171 

Prescott, 167 

rotation of, 175 

stopping, 173 

under cloches, 176 

ventilation, 172 

watering, 172 

Meteorological averages, 207 
Mildew on Lettuces, 166 
Mushroom caves, 179 

spawn, 183 
Mushrooms, 178 

diseases of, 183 
from spores, 185 

November, work for, 210 

October, work for, 209 
Onions, 185 

cutting back, 186 
Oyster, Vegetable, 192 

Paris vegetable market, 57 
Pathways, width of, 21 
Peronospora gangliformis, 166 
Phaseolus vulgaris, 89 
Planning out the ground, n 
Potatoes, Early, 62 
Preparing the beds, 12 
Pricking out seedlings, 52 
Primeurs, i 
Puccinia Asparagi, 88 
Pulsometers, 14 

Radishes, 188 

Black, 191 

Rainfall averages, 207 
Raphanus sativus, 188 
Receipts, estimated annual, 26 
Red Spider, 130, 178 



Rhubarb, 63 
Rotation of crops, 55 
Rumex Acetosa, 193 
montanus, 193 

Salesmen, commission, 29 

Salsafy, 192 

Scaroles, 134 

Scolecotrichum melophthorum, 


Scorzonera, 192 
Seakale, 195 
Seedlings, pricking out, 52 

transplanting, 53 
Seed sowing, 49 
September, work for, 208 
Shading, 53 

Site for a French garden, 7 
Slugs, 167 

Soil and its treatment, 10 
Solanum Melongena, 131 
Sorrel, 193 

Maiden, 193 
Spawn, Mushroom, 183 
Spinach, 199 

Spores, Mushrooms from, 185 
Standpipes, 49 
Strawberries, 60 
Sulphate of copper solution, 89, 


Sunshine averages, 207 

Taraxacum Dens-Leonis, 130 
Temperature averages, 207 
Tephritis Onopordinis, 120 
Thatcham, garden at, 3 
Thermometers, 45 
Thinning out seedlings, 51 
Thrips, 178 
Tilts for cloches, 41 

for frames, 40 
Tomatoes, 61 

Tragopogon porrifolius, 192 
Transplanting seedlings, 53 
Turnips, 201 

Valerianella olitoria, 123 
Vegetable market, Paris, 57 

Marrows, 62 

Oyster, 192 
Ventilation, 53 
Violets, 63 

Water, distribution of, 16 
Watering, 47 

in winter, 48 
Waterpots, 45 
Water supply, 13 
Windmills, 14 
Wire worms, 166 
Witloof, 122 

Printed by fiazell, Watson & 

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Illustrated with many Engravings on Wood. Tenth Edition. 
Medium 8vo. 158. net. 






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English Edition published under the direction of W. ROBINSON. 
Numerous Illustrations. Demy 8vo. 155. net. 

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Seventh Edition. With numerous Illustrations. 
Crown Svo. 35. 6d. 


SOIL Origin and Properties of Soils Composition and Classification of Soils- 
Sources of Loss and of Gain of Soils Moisture in Soils Improvements of Soils Tillage 
Implements for Working Soils Manures and Manuring. 

THE PLANT Seeds and their Germination Structure and Functions of Plants- 
Cultivated Plants Weeds Selections of Seeds Implements for securing Crops Grass 
Land and its Management Farm Crops Fungus Pests Insect Pests. 

THE ANIMAL Structure and Functions of Farm Animals Composition of the 
Animal Body Foods and Feeding The Art of Breeding Horses, Cattle, Sheep, Pigs : 
Their Breeds, Feeding and Management The Fattening of Cattle, Sheep and Pigs- 
Dairying Index of Plants General Index. 




With Illustrations. Large Crown 8vo. 58. net. 

1. INTRODUCTORY Houses and their Construction Selection of the Site Pots- 
Soil Stocks Span-roofed Houses -Three-quarter Span Lean-to Houses Ventilation 
Inexpensive Houses Wire Houses Protection against Birds Water Cost of Con- 

II. THE FURNISHING OF THE HOUSE Number of Trees Required Arrangement ot 
the Trees Beds and Borders The Need for Separate Compartments. 

III. CULTURAL DETAILS The Forms of Trees -Potting Soil Potting-hook and 
Prong Perforated Pots Method of Forcing Pruning Pinching Hide-bound Trees- 
Surface Dressing Number of Fruits on a Tree Cost of Trees Longevity, etc. 

IV. VARIETIES OF FRUITS Peaches and Nectarines Apricots Plums Chsrries 
Apples and Pears- Baking Pears The Mulberry The Fig The Vine. 

V. INSECT AND OTHER PESTS Green Fly Brown Aphis Red Spider Thrip 
Earwigs Weevils Ants Mildew, etc. 


VII. MISCELLANEOUS OBSERVATIONS Flavour Gathering the Fruit Fruit Trees 
for Decorative Purposes Miscellaneous Directions, etc. 


" A valuable contribution to a very interesting phase of fruit-culture." Field. 

" Brief, clear, and well-founded in the practical wisdom born of life-long experience in 
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BY F. C. HAYES, M.A., 

Rector of Raheny ; Lecturer in Practical Horticulture in 
Alexandra College, Dublin. 

With Illustrations. Crown 8vo. 2S. 6d. net. 


PART I. GENERAL PRINCIPLES Principles and Practice of Gardening The Soil : its 
Nature and Preparation The Food of Plants: Manuring Half-hardy Plants and 
Greenhouse Culture Hot-beds and Cold Frames The Gardenei s Natural Enemies 
Seeds and their Treatment Budding, Grafting, Inarching, Layering, and Striking. 

PART II. DEPARTMENTS The Spring Garden Summer and Autumn Flowers 
Herbaceous and Rock Border combined Alpine Borders Roses Ferns : their Nature 
and Classes Construction of Ferneries Climbers Lawn Shrubs Shrubs and Autumn 
Tints Treatment of Lawns Culture of Vegetables Growing Fruit and Pruning Trees. 

hART III TvPts OF HARDY FLOWERS Heartsease, Violas, and Violets Scillas 
and Gentians Irises Lilies Anemones Carnations Chrysanthemums Cyclamens 
and Tuberous Begonias Christmas Roses Wallflowers (Cheiranthus) Primroses 
Annuals, Biennials, and Perennials Fragrant Plants Cordyline Australis Water- 
lilies (Nymphaea) 

PART IV. KALENDAR FOR MONTHS Gardening in January Gardening in February 
Gardening in March Gardening in April Gardening in May Gardening in June 
Gardening in July Gardening in August Gardening in September Gardening in 
October Gardening in November and December A Short List of Reference Books on 
Gardening for Students Specimen Examination Papers Index. 

" Not so big that it need frighten the ardent amateur, nor so much of a primer that it 
may be disdained by the fairly accomplished gardener, it has a good scheme. The first 
part, consisting of eight chapters of general principles, in simple, non-technical language, 
is a model of useful information in a small space ; the second part deals with departments 
of gardening the third, with types of flowers, and the fourth is a calendar to work by " 

Daily Chronicle. 




BY A. D. HALL, M.A. (Oxon.), 

President of the Rothamsted Station (Lawes Agricultural Trust) ; 
First President of the South-Eastern Agricultural College. 

With Diagrams. 55. net. 

The science of agriculture has advanced considerably since the first edition of this book 
was published, so Mr. Hall has taken advantage of the need for a reprint to produce what 
is practically a new book. A good deal of fresh material has been added, the latest 
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re-set, bringing everything completely up to date. 

An excellent and up-to-date text-book. . . . The complete knowledge of the soil and 
part it plays in the nutrition of the plants requires investigation along three lines, 
which may be roughly classed as chemical, physical or mechanical, and biological. It 

the part it plays in the nutrition of the plants requires investigation along three lines, 
which may be roughly classed as chemical, physical or mechanical, and biological. It 
is exactly these with which the author deals, and although it is in no sense an exhaustive 

treatise, a general outline has been given of all the recent investigations which have 
opened up so many soil problems, and thrown new light on difficulties that are experienced 
in practice." Gardeners' Chronicle. 


BY A. D. HALL, M.A. (Oxon.), 

President of the Rothamsted Experimental Station ; First President of the 
South-Eastern Agricultural College. 


With Illustrations. Medium 8vo. los. 6d. net. 


Appendix INDEX. 



BY A. D. HALL, M.A. (Oxon.), 

Director of the Rothamsted Station (Lawes Agricultural Trust) ; 
Author of " The Soil," " The Book of the Rothamsted Experiments," 


Crown 8vo. 

This book, which is a companion volume to the same Author's book on 
" The Soil," deals not only with the history, origin, and nature of the various 
fertilisers and manures in use in this country, but also with their effect upon 
the yield and quality of crops in practice. Much unpublished material has 
been drawn from the Rothamsted experiments, but other series of field 
experiments have also been utilised to furnish examples elucidating the 
principles upon which manuring should be based. As befits a book intended 
for the practical man as well as the student of agricultural science, a good 
deal of attention is given to the making, value, and utilisation of farmyard 
manure, while another important chapter deals with the manuring of each of 
the staple crops of the farm, according to the character of the rotation in 
which it finds a place. 



With Illustrations. Medium 8vo. 



Square Demy 8vo. 

This is an attempt to analyse the "garden magic" of Italy and to lay 
down new principles of design. The Author is probably better acquainted 
than any other living Englishman or Italian with the old gardens of Italy : 
he attaches much importance to the psychological side of the problem, and 
deals with the philosophy of beauty in a way which will appeal to every 
lover of a garden. 












ALINGTON Partridge 
Driving 8 

AULD and KERPractical Agri- 
cultural Chemistry 6 

BEAN Trees and Shrubs Hardy 
in the British Isles 3 

BRACE The Culture of Fruit 
Trees in Pots 5 

BUXTON Fishing and Shooting 8 

CARTWRIGHT Italian Gardens 
of the Renaissance 4 

CECIL A History of Gardening 
in England 5 

CHAYTOR Letters to a Salmon 
Fisher's Sons 8 

COLTMAN-ROGERS Conifers... 3 

CURTIS The Small Garden 
Beautiful 4 

istry of the Garden : a Course 
of Practical Work 6 

FREAM Elements of Agriculture 6 

GASKELL Spring in a Shrop- 
shire Abbey 


round the 





GIBBS A Cotswold Village ... 

HALL The Book of the Rotham- 
sted Experiments 

The Soil 

Fertilisers and Manures 

The Feeding of Crops and 


Agricul ture after the War 

A Pilgrimage of British 

Farming ... ... 7 

HAYES A Handy Book of 
Horticulture ... ... ... 4 

HUTCHINSON Dog Breaking 8 
JEFFERIES The Gamekeeper 

at Home ... ii 

The Amateur 

Poacher ii 

JENNINGS Field Paths and 
Green Lanes in Surrey and 

Sussex ii 

LLOYD Hints to Farm Pupils 6 


LONG (H.C.V Common Weeds 
of the Farm and Garden ... 6 

LONG ( J.) The Small Farm and 

its Management 6 

PARKER Shooting Days ... 8 

PEARSE The Kitchen Garden 
and the Cook 5 

ing 5 

REES Creatures of the Night ... 10 

The Heron of Castle Creek 10 

ROBINSON The English Flower 

Garden 9 

The Vegetable 

Garden 9 

The Wild Garden... 9 

Alpine Flowers ... 9 

The Garden Beau- 

The Virgin's Bower 

Grave tye Manor .... 



God's Acre Beautiful 9 

JOHN Wild Sports ... 8 

STEBBING British Forestry ... 3 
. . . . Commercial Forestry 3 

TREGARTHEN Wild Life at 

the Land's End 10 

. The Life Story 

of an Otter ... 10 

Book of Flowers 5 

Vegetable Garden ... ( .. 9 

WEATHERS The Bulb Book ... 4 
French Market 
Gardening ... 5 

WEBSTER Hardy Ornamental 
Flowering Trees and Shrubs 3 

WILLMOTT The Genus Rosa ... 
WOLSELE Y- In a College Gar den 

Books on Horticulture, Agriculture 
and Country Lore. 


BRITISH ISLES. By W. J. BEAN, Assistant Curator, 
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. " Here is a book v/hich stands 
out by itself as the work of a master of the subject. No one 
who cares for trees and shrubs can possibly do without it . . . . 
a mass of knowledge and experience which is unrivalled." 
Mr. H. J. ELWES, in Country Life. With over 250 Line 
Drawings and 64 Half-tone Illustrations. Two Volumes. 
Second Edition. 485. net. 


invaluable aid for students and others in identifying the many 
different species of trees included in the category of the Natural 
Order of the Coniferae, and it also gives in anecdotal form much 
reliable and interesting information on their life-history. 


AND SHRUBS. By A. D. WEBSTER. Author of " Prac- 
tical Forestry," etc. " We commend the book on its un- 
doubted merits as a reference work and guide." Journal of 
Horticulture. Third Edition. 5s. net. 


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